SAN DIEGO – The San Diego Padres announced Thursday they are rehiring the man who caused the national anthem mishap that prevented the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus from performing.
Padres and CEO Mike Dee said in response to Major League Baseball’s findings that the mishap was human error and the there was no malicious intentions, DJ Art Romero has accepted their invitation to continue providing services for them.
Dee did not say what Romero’s role with the team would be stating “to be determined.”
“The Padres wish to thank Major League Baseball for its work this week, and are pleased that its findings confirm the facts that we discovered during our own internal investigation. As we have done this week, we will continue to work with San Diego’s LGBT community to strengthen and expand the club’s relationship with them.”
During a pregame ceremony, a recording of a woman singing the national anthem was played instead of the chorus’ version. The performance was pre-taped because of audio issues with large groups of singers.
Members of the chorus were subjected to heckling when they left the field, and questions were subsequently raised about the motivation behind the incident.
Art Romero, who also goes by the stage name of DJ Artform, was fired by the Padres in wake of the incident, which received international attention just over a month before San Diego hosts the All-Star Game.
Romero issued an apology on Facebook in which he said he made “an unfortunate mistake” and was “appalled” at homophobic remarks made by some fans.
“I in no way, shape or form directed any type of hate, bad intent or discrimination towards the chorus or anyone involved,” Romero said.
“The incident was not a representation of myself, San Diego & its amazing baseball fans,” he said. “I have felt the consequences of my mistake as my dream job has dissolved before my eyes which does not take away that I am extremely sorry for the horrible mistake that occurred.”
Since his apology, the chorus and radio host Carl DeMaio, a gay former City Council member and mayoral candidate, have called on the Padres to give Romero 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,” a statement from the chorus reads. “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.”
In a Twitter post on Monday, Padres President and CEO Mike Dee said the chorus was invited to perform before a game later this season.