11-Year Old Murders the National Anthem at MLS Game, Parents Defend Her (Video)

Harper Gruzins, 11, sings the national anthem at opening of MLS match between FC Dallas-L.A. Galaxy, Saturday, July 28.

One of the most sentimental moments of any sports competition is the singing of the National Anthem.  Everyone loved Whitney Houston’s rendition of the Star Spangled Banner so much, that it nearly hit platinum and set the bar for how it should be done.  Now imagine if the nearly 80 million viewers that tuned into Super Bowl XXV in 1991, would’ve heard her screaching into the mic and changing the timing of the song so much it takes an additional minute to get through the song?

Well, 11-year old Harper Gruzins opened the Major League Soccer game Saturday between the FC Dallas-L.A. Galaxy with a rendition of the National Anthem that has drawn criticism and remarks like “the worst national anthem rendition ever.”  And while it may have been a poor performance it is in even more poor taste for the media to lambaste the child with such cruel comments.

According to the New York Daily News, Gruzins’ father, Karlis Gruzins, said:

The “mean and hateful” comments are “really sad.”

“I don’t understand it,” he told FoxNews. “My natural tendency is to yank her from everything, but she just loves to do it.”

Daily News also reported that the Dallas Observer weighed in on the performance saying:

Eric Nicholson of the Dallas Observer, however, said that even though Harper is young, “some things are simply indefensible.”

“That’s where the parents should step in,” Nicholson added. “There’s a big difference between encouraging a child to dream and inflating their ego to unreasonable proportions, either through overindulgence of childish whims or through the parents’ vicarious pursuit of glory.”

It appears that everyone turned into Simon Cowell after hearing little Harper sing.  So much so, that Harper had to defend herself saying:

“It wasn’t my best performance because I couldn’t hear myself and the blowhorns got me off key,” Harper told FoxNews. “But God allowed this to happen, so I know it’s what he wants. So I wouldn’t change it. Next time I hope there’s no blowhorns.”

It’s possible that she will grow into her voice and with a few singing lessons return with a better performance.  Who knows?! But, it’s certain that her parents are going to continue to support her and throw her out there, so that she can keep trying to get better.

Read more details here and check out her performance and judge for yourself.

-J.C. Brooks

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