The Tenors, a Canadian a cappella group, drew the ire of many Tuesday night for altering the lyrics of "O Canada" to include the phrase "All Lives Matter" during a performance at the MLB all-star game.
The group blames "lone wolf" Remigio Pereira, who will not be singing with the group "until further notice," according to a statement, for changing the words to the national anthem during their on-field performance at Petco Park in San Diego. Pereira also held a sign that read "All Lives Matter."
Correction: The Tenors altered O Canada lyrics in support of All Lives Matter. pic.twitter.com/Q0i6qqLB4Y— Bill Cooney (@BillCooney) July 13, 2016
In the middle section of the anthem, which is typically sung in French, Pereira can be heard singing, "We're all brothers and sisters. All lives matter to the great." The original lyrics are: "With glowing hearts we see thee rise, the True North strong and free."
The decision to sing the controversial phrase, which has been interpreted by many to be a rejection of the growing "Black Lives Matter" movement, comes as protests over the police-related shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile last week continue to increase.
In a statement from the quartet, which consists of singers Clifton Murray, Fraser Walters, Victor Micallef and Pereira, the other members claimed to be both "shocked" and "embarrassed" by Pereira's decision to include the "All Lives Matter" line in the anthem.
"The Tenors are deeply sorry for the disrespectful and misguided lack of judgement by one member of the group acting as a 'lone wolf' today during the signing of the Canadian national anthem," the statement read. "[T]he actions of the one member of this group were extremely selfish and he will not be performing with The Tenors until further notice."
https://t.co/3rHG1e1Akf— The Tenors (@The Tenors) 1468375820.0
The anthem was not shown live on U.S. television, but it didn't take long for the disapproval to spread on social media.
Memo to MLB: if you're looking to attract black fans and players, All Lives Mattering the anthem -- even O Canada -- ain't the way to do it.— Morgan Campbell (@Morgan Campbell) 1468368729.0
Why The Tenors chose to re-write the Canadian national anthem is beyond me. I'm speechless. #ASG— Hazel Mae (@Hazel Mae) 1468368668.0
What a remarkably stupid thing to do: The Tenors changed the words of O Canada, their national anthem, at the ASG. https://t.co/CNJiS8i2Dv— Jeff Passan (@Jeff Passan) 1468369091.0
Changing the words at all is dumb. Changing it to include "All Lives Matter" is grounds for deportation, IMHO.— Andrew Stoeten (@Andrew Stoeten) 1468369393.0
To Americans watching #MLBAllStarGame If you've ever wondered what the Canadian term "douche canoe" means, the Tenors just gave an example— Andrew Tumilty (@Andrew Tumilty) 1468369393.0
This backlash also comes several days after a sniper opened fire on police officers during a Black Lives Matter protest in Dallas, leaving five cops dead. The suspected gunman reportedly said he wanted to kill white people.
(H/T: CBC Sports)
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