The San Diego Padres have issued an apology to the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus for playing a prerecorded woman’s voice through the speakers while the group was supposed to perform “The Star-Spangled Banner” before Saturday’s game.
As the chorus stood on the field, the audio played, and kept going. No one fixed the error, so the crowd listened to the entirety of the prerecorded performance instead of the men:
“We were just excited to be at a game and let the audience see us and hear us and let us know that we’re sports fans too, and we’re normal guys,” said RC Haus, artistic director for the chorus. “And then a woman sings over us, and it was mortifying.”
“I just felt this dread come over me because I was so embarrassed,” choral member Dan England said. “Some of us started to sing along. After that, we just stood there. We thought they would ask us to sing, but they just asked us to leave the field.”
“I can understand how that happens, but what I didn’t understand why they didn’t stop the track or apologize,” Haus said.
On Sunday, a brief statement from the Padres indicated that a pre-recorded version of the anthem—presumably a recording of the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus performing the song—was supposed to be played. (Those on-field anthems aren’t always live.) But a technical error somehow led to a different recording going out over the PA, apparently that of the woman who had sung the anthem before Friday’s game.
The Padres said in a longer statement last night that they had found “no evidence of malicious intent on the part of any individuals involved,” but did fire “the third-party contractor who was responsible for the error.”
Former Padres player and current MLB vice president of social responsibility and inclusion Billy Bean also issued a statement defending his former team’s support of the LGBT community: