The San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus were all set to sing the national anthem at a San Diego Padres baseball game on Saturday night. But that’s not what happened when they assembled on the field.
As they prepared to sing, a recording of a woman singing the national anthem blared over the loudspeakers. Nobody tried to stop the recording or apologized for the error – and the people in the stadium were not kind about it.
“No attempt was made to stop the recording and start over,” the Gay Men’s Chorus wrote on Facebook on Sunday. “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.’”
In a short statement issued on Saturday night, the Padres said a “mistake was made in the Petco Park control room that prevented the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus from performing the National Anthem as scheduled.”
“We apologize to anyone in the ballpark who this may have offended, and have reached out to the Chorus to express our deep regret for the error,” the team said.
However, the chorus said they were “very disappointed” with the “dismissively brief two sentence statement…which did not appropriately address the gravity of the situation, nor pay due to the 100 volunteers who took to the field in celebration and were led off in humiliation.”
This is uncomfortable and upsetting on all kinds of levels. And that “apology” is not an apology at all.