Jamie Squire / Getty ImagesHorses break from the gate at the start of race 5 ahead of the 147th Running of the Kentucky Derby, at Churchill Downs on Saturday in Louisville. (Jamie Squire / Getty Images)
The classic song “My Old Kentucky Home” will be played at the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, as the event will choose tradition over the complaints from activists who contend the ballad is racist.
WLKY-TV reported that despite an effort to cancel the song, it will be part of the 2021 race, being played just before the bell.
WLKY noted the song has been played annually at the race since at least 1921. But in recent years, organizers have faced pressure to choose another song.
Smithsonian Magazine profiled the controversy over the song last September.
The outlet reported that songwriter Stephen Foster wrote the song in the 1850s “as an anti-slavery song, inspired by Harriet