Are The Flyers Bring Back The Kate Smith Statue?

Dylan Robillard
September 23, 2023  (1:34)

In 2019, the Philadelphia Flyers cut ties with the late Kate Smith after she was cancelled for potential racism in her music. A statue in honour of Smith, whose music dates back to World War II, was covered with a black tarp near the Wells Fargo Center in April 2019.

Kate Smith became a household name in Philadelphia after she sang a rendition of "God Bless America" for the orange and black in 1969 and was invited back after the Flyers won when she sang. Fans believed she brought good luck, and she even sang the song live before the Flyers won their first Stanley Cup in 1974, and then again in 1975.
After Smith passed in 1986, the Flyers made the song a tradition for big games and erected a statue of her outside the former Spectrum. Lauren Hart, the new Flyers anthem singer, even sang the anthem with Kate Smith during the Flyers playoff run in 2010; of course, Smith wasn't actually present, but they showed a video of her signing on the scoreboard. At every home playoff game, it became a tradition that Kate Smith and Lauren Hart would sing "God Bless America" ahead of puck drop for good luck.
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During the cancel culture area of 2019, Kate Smith was cancelled after the New York Yankees whom she also sang for, investigated early recordings from Smith that included offensive references to African Americans. One of her songs, "That's Why Darkies Were Born," refers to their enslavement as an explanation for its title. The Flyers followed suit and provided the following statement to NJ Advance Media:
'We have recently become aware that several songs performed by Kate Smith contain offensive lyrics that do not reflect our values as an organization. As we continue to look into this serious matter, we are removing Kate Smith's recording of 'God Bless America' from our library and covering up the statue that stands outside of our arena.'

A lot of hockey fans and most Flyers fans seem to agree that the world has turned "soft" in this case. It was seen as unnecessary for Kate to be cancelled for songs that she did not even write. She sang them very early in her career, during a time when things were not like they are now. Of course, it is unacceptable, but what she gave to the city of Philadelphia was thrown away after cancel culture struck down on her, even though she has been gone for close to 50 years.
The whole idea of cancel culture is excessive, digging up people's past when they have already changed or it is something they did when they were a teenager. There are certain things people should be "cancelled" for, but in this case, few people agreed with the removal of Kate Smith's statue.
On the Flyers Alley podcast during season 6 episode 2, Kate Smith was brought up after the host Jesse Bell and Corey talked about what the Flyers have successfully brought back. Corey was quick to express his feelings regarding the anthem singer:
I have one thing I would bring back, and it might be a touchy subject but I really don't care. BRING BACK THE KATE SMITH STATUE...Look hockey fans are tough-skin people, if you are paper thing you don't belong in the hockey community anyway."

Now that the Flyers are turning back to their old ways, honouring Ed Snider in more than one way and creating "A New Era Of Orange" it seems fitting that they should bring back the face of the Flyers from the 70-80's, Kate Smith. A large majority of fans including the guys from Flyers Alley Podcast seem to agree it would be nice to have the statue in front of the Wells Fargo Center. Not only that but when the Flyers are competitive again, having Kate Smith and Lauren Hart reunited would be something special.
Are The Flyers Bring Back The Kate Smith Statue?

Should the Flyers bring back Kate Smith's statue?

Yes130894.5 %
No765.5 %
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