Jersey Shore mayor wants controversial Kate Smith statue if available

WILDWOOD, New Jersey -- The controversial Kate Smith statue could soon be coming to the Jersey Shore.

After the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Flyers suspended the use of Smith's recording of "God Bless America" over an allegation of racism against the late singer and the hockey team removed the statue, Wildwood Mayor Ernie Troiano made headlines by saying his town would continue to play the song along the boardwalk throughout the summer.

But now, he wants more.

"If it's available, we would be interested in having it," Troiano said. "The outcry of the people has piqued my interest."

The statue was taken down over the weekend at the Wells Fargo Center amid conflicting claims about several of the 1930s star's songs, including her 1939 hit "That's Why the Darkies Were Born."

But Troiano says her rendition of "God Bless America," which is traditionally played each day on the boardwalk during the summer, will still be heard.

"One hundred fifty percent yes, we are playing the song," he said.

Troiano says everyone is quick to be offended.

"What we don't like, we're just going to erase," he said. "And it's whoever is offended at that time is the one that's pushing the issues...We've taken the ridiculous and made it the norm."

At this point, there is no word on where the statue will end up.

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