Marc Anthony responds to racist comments: 'You can't get more New York than me'

Posted By VERONICA LINARES, UPI.com   |   July 19, 2013 at 2:35 PM   |   Comments

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July 19 (UPI) -- Marc Anthony responded Friday to the racist backlash against his performance of "God Bless America" during Tuesday's MLB All Star Game.

"To set the record straight, I was born and raised in New York. You can't get more New York than me," the 44-year-old singer said.

On Tuesday, the ASG was slammed by social media users across the United States for having Anthony, who is of Puerto Rican descent, sing the iconic song during the All Star game.

"Welcome to america where god bless america is sung at our national pastime by a mexican," Twitter user @TylerPounds wrote.

"Why is some Spanish [expletive] singing God Bless America at the All-Star Game? That's just wrong," @G_Lewis19 tweeted.

For the record, Anthony was born and raised in NYC's East Harlem by Puerto Rican-born parents.

"Something happened, I wanted to clarify," the singer told Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan on Live! With Kelly and Michael. "You know, me singing the national anthem, there was some statements made that people were upset that they would have somebody from another country sing the national anthem. But to set the record straight, I was born and raised in New York. You can't get more New York than me."

The "You Sang to Me" singer promptly corrected himself from saying he had performed the national anthem. He has also performed "The Star Spangled Banner" in the past, and added that singing both songs at those types of events was equally overwhelming.

"There's something so daunting," he explained. "I was standing between home plate and the mound and you look out and no one can help you if anything goes wrong...I'm looking for the nearest exit...But it's the most gratifying as well. It's so risky, but it's just so gratifying."

Anthony added that in the end, he continues to perform these songs because "of the honor."

"You say yes because of the honor, you can't deny that," he explained. "But then the day of, you're like, 'Why did I say yes to this?!' But you have to be some sort of ninja. There has to be some kind of recognition for someone who goes through this and survives it. It's scary."

Ultimately, Anthony said he just wanted to "set the record straight" for both haters and fans.

"I'm more Puerto Rican than ever and I'm more New York than ever," he professed.

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