Dub Trouble: Padres Apologize For Gay Men’s Chorus National Anthem Debacle
It's not exactly NASA mission control over at the Petco Park audio/visual booth, is it? The San Diego Gay Men's Chorus was on the field Saturday night, just about to sing the Star-Spangled Banner, when the Padres instead played a recorded woman's voice singing the song. (See Update below).
The men's chorus was forced to stand on the field for the duration of the song, then endure taunts from the crowd when the Anthem was over. Naturally they were a bit pissed off, especially when the Padres issued a short, matter-of-fact explanation, saying that it was a technical issue.
The San Diego Gay Men's Chorus issued a statement of their own, slamming the Padres and demanding a further investigation. And they got one.
Excerpt from the Chorus' statement on their Facebook page:
No attempt was made to stop the recording and start over. No announcement of apology was made to the singers or their friends and families in the stands. No attempt to correct the situation occurred other than to force the 100 men to stand in the spotlight of center field for the song’s duration and then be escorted off the field to the heckles of baseball fans shouting homophobic taunts including “You sing like a girl.”
The Padres apologized (later), and in their resulting investigation, found that it was an error in the control room. The Padres said that there was "no malicious intent."
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) May 23, 2016
The trouble actually began earlier in the week, when members of the Padres front office insisted that the Chorus buy their own tickets for the game, even if they didn't plan on staying after the Anthem. When the group complained, the Padres backed down and gave them tickets. Los Angeles Times:
The San Diego Padres said late Sunday that it had disciplined an employee and stopped working with a contractor who was responsible for marring the performance of the national anthem by the San Diego Gay Men's Chorus.
The Padres say that they've invited the Chorus to return to Petco for another try at the Anthem at a later game.
— Outsports (@outsports) May 24, 2016
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