SAN DIEGO – The San Diego Padres responded Sunday to what a group of singers from the LGBT community called a “nightmare” situation during the national anthem Saturday.
The San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus Sunday called for an investigation into why its members were not allowed to sing the national anthem at Saturday night’s Dodgers-Padres game at Petco Park.
Before the game started, 100 men from the chorus walked onto the baseball field to sing. When it was time to begin singing, a recording of a woman singing the national anthem was broadcast across the stadium. The men were then escorted off the field, not sure why they weren’t given a chance to sing.
San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus Executive Director Bob Lehman issued a lengthy statement on the group’s Facebook page.
“A couple of people yelled a couple jeers at us,” said Lehman. “One person yelled, ‘you sound like a girl’ and somebody else yelled ‘that`s the best you`ve ever sounded.'”
One day later, the Padres followed up stating they concluded their internal investigation and “found no evidence of malicious intent on the part of any individuals involved.”
The team acknowledged the failure to immediately intervene and correct the situation and terminated the third-party contractor responsible for the error. The Padres also took disciplinary action against their employee who was responsible for the game production Saturday.
“We once again sincerely apologize to members of the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus, their families and those who came out to support their Pride Night performance. The Padres organization is proud of our longstanding commitment to inclusion – within both our sport and our community. We deeply regret that a mistake on our part has called this into question, but accept full responsibility.”
“First of all, you`re just mortified that you`ve been embarrassed in front of all of San Diego and national TV and all your friends and family that you`ve brought to the game, so it was pretty devastating,” said Lehman.