San Diego Padres Step In It Over Gay Men’s Chorus Screw-up

Jim Burroway

May 22nd, 2016

The San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus was supposed to sing the National Anthem last night, but this happened instead:

Saturday night was Pride Night for the Padres game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Spectators saw the SDGMC all lined up in center field behind second plate, but instead of hearing the voices of the SDGMC singing the national anthem, a pre-recorded recoding featuring a woman’s voice was rang out over the loudspeakers. The chorus was left standing there on the field for what was clearly an awkward two minutes before the chorus was unceremoniously hustled off the field. Fans were hear heckling, “You sing like a girl.” Meanwhile, the P.A. was silent: no announcement, no apology, no explanation.

When contacted by the San Diego Union-Tribune, Padres would not speak on the record. Instead, they issued this statement:

This evening, during the pregame ceremony, 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.

It was almost certainly a glitch of some sort, but I do have to wonder how the Padres would have handled this situation if it had been a Navy chorus gathered on the field to sing the “Star-Spangled Banner” instead of 100 gay men.

SDGMC called the response a “dismissively brief two-sentence statement”, and are calling for an investigation and are seeking a meeting with team officials.

“I can understand how that happens, but what I didn’t understand why they didn’t stop the track or apologize,” said SDGMC artistic director R.C. Haus. Interactions with the Padres organization was already leaving them feeling “uneasy” before Saturday:

Lehman said the chorus performed last September, and had a good experience at the park. So when Padres officials asked the organization to perform again this year, they were eager to participate.

Several days before the event, however, Lehman said the Padres notified him that the singers would have to purchase tickets in order to perform, whether or not they intended to stay for the game. He said some of his members could not afford tickets, and they had not been required to buy tickets for their performance in September. Lehman said he worked out a compromise that allowed singers who did not want to stay to enter the park for free, but said the last-minute miscommunication left him uneasy.

According to the SDGMC statement, San Diego Padres President and Chief Executive Office Mike Dee has contacted the organization to apologize and offered to meet with local LGBT leaders to discuss the incident.


May 22nd, 2016

The members of the SDGMC were expected to PAY for the “privilege” of singing at the game? Doesn’t the SDGMC usually GET PAID for performing?

Those that had to BUY TICKETS should be reimbursed AND all the members of the SDGMC should be given FREE TICKETS to the game of their choice for their inconvenience and embarrassment – at the very LEAST.

That ‘apology”? F*** that noise.


May 23rd, 2016

According to The Washington Post, the Padres disciplined the employee behind the slip-up and fired the third-party contractor responsible.

Pretty good response, although I’d love to see the SDGMC get the chance to (really) sing the anthem again, and soon. And without having to buy tickets (wtf?!?).

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