Yankees suspend use of Kate Smith’s ‘God Bless America’ recording over racism allegations

Posted: Updated:
NEW YORK -

The New York Yankees have suspended the use of Kate Smith's recording of "God Bless America" during the seventh-inning stretch while they look into an allegation of racism against the singer.

According to the New York Daily News, there are conflicting claims about Smith's 1939 song "That's Why Darkies Were Born."

The song originated in the 1931 Broadway revue "George White's Scandals," and was considered satire.

It was recorded by Smith and also by Paul Robeson, who was black.

The team said in a statement: "The Yankees have been made aware of a recording that had been previously unknown to us and decided to immediately and carefully review this new information. The Yankees take social, racial and cultural insensitivities very seriously. And while no final conclusions have been made, we are erring on the side of sensitivity."

Smith died in 1986.

The Yankees have used her recording of "God Bless America" and sometimes live singers during the seventh inning since the 2001 terrorist attacks.

They used an organ version Wednesday and Thursday.

AP wire services helped contribute to this report.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."