San Diego Padres Baseball Team Accused Of Homophobia After National Anthem Mistake Involving The City's Gay Men's Chorus

Posted on May 22 2016 - 7:00pm by

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Drama down in San Diego — and it’s getting icky.

The San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus was all set to sing the National Anthem on Saturday night at the San Diego PadresMLB game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, but things went very wrong very quickly — and now, here comes the fall out.

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The chorus, which brought one hundred singers to the game to sing the anthem, was trotted out into center field to perform — but something went wrong with the public address system at the team’s home stadium, Petco Park.

At the start of their song, a recording of women singing the National Anthem was played over the loudspeaker, and it was never stopped.

The chorus then had to walk off the field after not being able to perform, and the group alleges they faced chants of “you sing like a girl” from the fans while leaving the stadium in shame.

Furthermore, the chorus alleges that the event almost didn’t happen in the first place, as the Padres tried to make the entire group buy tickets to the game before they were able to perform.

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Here’s the entire statement, in full, from the SDGMC, posted on their Facebook page on Sunday morning (below):

“What should have been a night of joy and celebration at Petco Park last night, instead turned into a nightmare raising serious questions about homophobia within the San Diego Padres organization and its relationship with the LGBT community.

Before the start of the last night’s San Diego Padres game, 100 volunteer singers of the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus took to the field to proudly sing the National Anthem. Instead, in front of the large crowd gathered for the LA Dodgers game, the San Diego Padres played the recorded voice of a woman singing the anthem.

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.”

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.

We also call upon the City of San Diego City Attorney’s Office and the City of San Diego Human Relations Commission to independently investigate this incident to determine if members of the San Diego Padres organization engaged in activity in violation of the San Diego Human Rights Ordinance or engaged in any deliberate hate crimes based on sexual orientation.

We applaud San Diego Padres President and Chief Executive Office Mike Dee for reaching out to our organization to apologize and to offer to meet with LGBT leaders to discuss the incident. We look forward to this meeting. We believe it is important to work together with the San Diego Padres organization to build bridges within the LGBT community rather than burn them down as happened last night.

However, we are very disappointed with the San Diego Padres dismissively brief two sentence statement at 9:37 p.m. on Saturday, May 21, 2016 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.”

For their part, the Padres have responded to the situation, though it’s a very brief sentiment (below):

And for what it’s worth, the Padres have apparently extended an offer to have the SDGMC perform at a future game, too:

Hmm…

For what it’s worth, the chorus DID perform at a Padres game last summer at the team’s first ever Pride Night, and it appears everything went off without a hitch (below):

Sadly, that apparently didn’t happen this time.

Tags: baseball, baseball game, controversy, facebook, gay gay gay, icky icky poo, lgbt, mlb, national anthem, oops!, san diego gay mens chorus, san diego padres, tacky and true, twitter, wacky

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