San Diego Padres Apologize To ‘Gay Men’s Chorus’ Over Anthem Blunder

As part of the celebration of ‘Pride Night’ at Petco Park Saturday night, the San Diego Padres offered the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus to sing the National Anthem. However, it didn’t quite work out. And by ‘not working out,’ I mean it was a complete disaster.

100 volunteer singers showed up in full suits and ties for the opportunity to sing in front of a crowd of 40,000, only to stand awkwardly while a previously recorded female voice blared across the speakers.

Here’s just one of the many cringe-worthy videos going viral online. 

There was no attempt to stop the recording, no announcement with an apology, or even the opportunity for the Gay Men’s Chorus to follow up.

A lengthy San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus Facebook post, titled “You sing like a girl,” read partly:

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.”

This incident followed several days of troubling comments and behavior within the San Diego Padres organization. Three days before the game, San Diego Padres representatives aggressively sought to prevent singers from performing the National Anthem unless they purchased a ticket to the game—even if they did not plan to stay for the game—which was not part of any previous discussion or written or verbal agreement and would have cost the small, community-based non-profit thousands of dollars. The demand eventually was rescinded on Friday following repeated complaints made by SDGMC and San Diego Pride to San Diego Padres management.

With this as background, we call on the San Diego Padres and Major League Baseball to immediately launch a full and transparent investigation into the incident to determine if someone or some people intentionally engaged in anti-gay discrimination or a hate crime by playing a female’s voice to represent a group of gay men with the purpose of denigrating and/or ridiculing gay men. The historic significance of such an act is not lost on the LGBT community—especially in relation to professional sports—and added to the depth of embarrassment experienced by the singers and their families.

The SD Gay Men’s Chorus did meet with Padres CEO Mike Dee and said the executive was “sincerely apologetic.”

The Padres have also since released this apology and explanation on Twitter:

Whether there was malicious intent or not, this is a terrible look for the Padres. They need to do whatever is necessary to make this blunder right. One can only hope the SD Gay Men’s Chorus will be man enough to accept their apology. You know every executive inside Petco Field’s front office is hoping they will.

Josh Helmuth is the editor of Crave Sports. Follow him on Twitter or like the channel on Facebook here.

Photo: Getty