‘Stirring’ rendition of national anthem by 8-year-old girl all the rage – critics go after dad

The stirring rendition of the national anthem by a young girl before an NBA game has blown up on social media where it’s drawing a mixed response.

Kinsley Murray, an eight-year-old from Washington State stood at center court before the February 26 game between the Indiana Pacers and the Toronto Raptors and sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” while wearing a red, white, and blue patriotic dress.

The youngster, who also belted out “O Canada,” the visiting team’s national anthem was praised by the Pacers organization which posted a video of her to its TikTok account that has racked up over 25 million views and still counting.

“[T]he passion. the outfit. this anthem performance was unmatched,” the team wrote. The young lady has performed the national anthem at hundreds of sporting events over the years.

Kinsley’s dad, Shafer Murray, a 43-year-old teacher talked about his daughter’s singing career with the Indy Star after she sang at the Pacers game, telling the outlet that she began singing with the school choir that he had formed when she was just one-year old and knew the national anthem when she was 18 months old.

“I used to do it with my class choir, so she’d be there. And I also played the radio. She loved the anthem. We played in the car on the way to places and stuff like that,” Mr. Murray recalled, saying that by the age of two, Kinsley wanted to sing at events.

“She had mentioned she wanted to go sing at a ballgame. I said, ‘Okay.’ And she went out she sang at a minor league game,” he told the outlet.

With the internet being a very cruel place, it wasn’t unexpected that those who were impressed by the performance were outnumbered by the haters who spilled over from TikTok onto the X platform, formerly known as Twitter, where users blasted her father more so than the young singer.

“I watched that video and seeing all of the disgusting comments, all the hatred, all the bully comments to that girl is absolutely atrocious,” one TikTok user commented. “I would like to see everybody come on here now and tell you how sorry I am and how apologetic you are for attacking this little girl.”

Kinsley also did the national anthem at the Dayton Flyers game the next day, her dad posted the video to his YouTube channel.

(Video: YouTube/Shafer Murray)

I just like music,” Kinsley said. “And I like when the big crowd roars.”

“It’s always sporting events. Especially as she’s gotten older where she’s getting a bigger crowd, because she likes that roar,” her father said. “I feed on it, too. It’s great as a father to hear everyone cheer; eighteen thousand people cheering for your daughter like that.”

Chris Donaldson


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