Earlier this spring the Philadelphia Flyers made the controversial decision to cease performances of Kate Smith’s ‘God Bless America’ from pre-game ceremonies at Wells Fargo Arena. The decision came following allegations of racism in some of the songs sung by the late singer as early as the 1930s. Additionally, the Flyers had a statue of Smith removed from outside Wells Fargo Arena as another way of distancing themselves from the Smith.
In the process, however, they Flyers have enraged a portion of their fan base and now they’re threatening retribution. An angry group of Flyers fans claim they will boycott the teams' home games in 2019-20 in response to the move to remove Smith's version of the patriotic song from their pre-game ceremonies.
More than 10,000 people have signed a pair of petitions on Change.org urging the Philadelphia Flyers to “Keep the Kate Smith statue and her version of `God Bless America.’ ”
The Flyers have declined to comment on the protest, but issued a statement once allegations against Smith had become public.