The San Diego Padres on Sunday apologized for an “error” that caused a woman’s singing voice to overshadow a live performance by a local gay men’s chorus.
About 100 members of the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus said they were humiliated Saturday after they gathered on the field of Petco Park to sing the National Anthem only to be silenced by a recording of a woman singing the same song.
“What should have been a night of joy and celebration … instead turned into a nightmare raising serious questions about homophobia within the San Diego Padres organization and its relationship with the LGBT community,” the group said in a statement.
The song played through in its entirety, and the chorus was then escorted off the field to taunts from the stadium, including “You sing like a girl,” the group said. “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,” the chorus said.
The Padres said an internal investigation found “no evidence of malicious intent” on the chorus, blaming the “unintentional mistake” on a “third-party contractor” who the team fired for the failure in oversight and an employee who was responsible that night for game production.
“We sincerely apologize to members of the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus, their familiies and those who came out to support their Pride Night performance,” the Padres said in a statement. “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.”