Posts Tagged As: San Diego Padres

I Thought We Were Done With This…

Jim Burroway

May 24th, 2016

But people and news outlets in San Diego are still talking about the debacle during the Padres’ Saturday night game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, when the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus, who were invited to sing the National Anthem, was instead left standing in the middle of the field while the P.A. played a recording of a lone female voice singing the “Star Spangled Banner.” After an anemic response to criticism on Sunday, the Padres finally stepped up to the plate yesterday (see how I used an appropriate sports metaphor there?) and issued a more formal apology, announced a reprimand of one of their employees and the firing of a professional D.J. working the booth, and invited the chorus back to Petco Park for a do-over.

Everybody’s happy, right?  Well, almost.

Also yesterday, DJ ArtForm, who was working the boards that night, went to Facebook to issue his “deepest apologies and sincere regret” for the error: “I have felt the consequences of my mistake as a dream job has dissolved before my eyes which does not take away that I am extremely sorry for the horrible mistake that occurred. I have family members & friends that are a part of the LGBT community and I have always been a supporter of Equal Human Rights, so it pains me greatly to see that I am being accused of acting intentionally. As a former high school and college baseball player, I understand the importance of ensuring equality for all in sports and am appalled by some of the negative, homophobic comments made by fans related to the National Anthem incident.”

So now, the SDGMC has taken to Facebook to ask the Padres to give DJ ArtForm his job back.

We also would like to publicly accept the sincere apology of DJ ARTFORM and recognize his support for the LGBT community and equality for all people. We do not wish to see him lose his job with the San Diego Padres and kindly ask the Padres to reinstate him. Everyone deserves a second chance.

SDGMC also said, ” we applaud the San Diego Padres organization and its chief executive Mike Dee for its ongoing efforts to make something good come out of unfortunate recent events. We have met with Mr. Dee and he has agreed to meet with and work closely with the LGBT community to bring our communities together with constructive, positive change.”

Padres Finally Respond to Gay Men’s Chorus Debacle

Jim Burroway

May 23rd, 2016

Last Saturday, just before the San Diego Padres home game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, spectators in the stands and viewers on television saw the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus line up behind second base where they were to sing the National Anthem. But after a delay, a recording of a woman singing the “Star Spangled Banner” rang out on the P.A. system while the chorus was left standing there for what was probably the longest humiliating two minutes of their lives, a humiliation that ended only after the recording was done and the chorus was then shoo’d off the field. The debacle was then followed by silence from the P.A. announcer — no explanation, no apology, nothing.

The SDGMC was not happy. The Padres issued a small two-sentence apology, but it really didn’t explain anything, leaving a lot of people wondering what the hell happened? Now when you look at the video, it looks to me like it was some kind of a major, unprofessional error in the control booth. (Notice how, in the video, the first few words of the national anthem are cut off before some turns the volume up.) But as I said yesterday, the Padres apparent attempts to shrug the whole thing off seemed problematic, at the very least. Does anyone really think that they would have shown at least a little bit more concerned as it happened if it had been a Navy chorus — what with San Diego being a pretty big Navy town — instead 100 gay men? Wouldn’t there have been at least some acknowledgement over the P.A. that something went wrong and an apology if it had been a band from Camp Pendleton just up the road?

I’m pretty sure we can all come to some conclusions on that.

I guess the saying “better late than never” applies here. The Padres finally seems to have offered a more robust response to what happened:

As a result, the team said it had ended its relationship with a contractor and disciplined an employee who was responsible for the game production on Saturday. The Padres accepted full responsibility and expressed deep regret, the statement said.

(Chorus Executive Director Bob Lehman) said he had spoken with Mike Dee, the team’s chief executive, whom he described as sincerely apologetic. Mr. Lehman said he had been told that the regular technician was in a car crash the night before and that a substitute was in the control room.

“Somebody didn’t know how to press the stop button?” he asked. “I couldn’t believe a professional organization like that didn’t know what to do.”

On Twitter, the team said it had offered the chorus an opportunity to return.

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.


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