Laist- What should have been a night of joy and celebration at Petco Park last night, instead turned into a nightmare raising serious questions about homophobia within the San Diego Padres organization and its relationship with the LGBT community.
Before the start of the last night’s San Diego Padres game, 100 volunteer singers of the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus took to the field to proudly sing the National Anthem. Instead, in front of the large crowd gathered for the LA Dodgers game, the San Diego Padres played the recorded voice of a woman singing the anthem.
No attempt was made to stop the recording and start over. No announcement of apology was made to the singers or their friends and families in the stands. No attempt to correct the situation occurred other than to force the 100 men to stand in the spotlight of center field for the song’s duration and then be escorted off the field to the heckles of baseball fans shouting homophobic taunts including “You sing like a girl.”
With this as background, we call on the San Diego Padres and Major League Baseball to immediately launch a full and transparent investigation into the incident to determine if someone or some people intentionally engaged in anti-gay discrimination or a hate crime by playing a female’s voice to represent a group of gay men with the purpose of denigrating and/or ridiculing gay men. 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.
We also call upon the City of San Diego City Attorney’s Office and the City of San Diego Human Relations Commission to independently investigate this incident to determine if members of the San Diego Padres organization engaged in activity in violation of the San Diego Human Rights Ordinance or engaged in any deliberate hate crimes based on sexual orientation.
We applaud San Diego Padres President and Chief Executive Office Mike Dee for reaching out to our organization to apologize and to offer to meet with LGBT leaders to discuss the incident. We look forward to this meeting. We believe it is important to work together with the San Diego Padres organization to build bridges within the LGBT community rather than burn them down as happened last night.
Is the San Diego Gay Men's Chorus accusing the San Diego Padres of inviting all 100 of them onto the field just so they could intentionally blast a recording of a woman singing the National Anthem right in their face solely to embarrass them in front of all their friends and family? Is that what is happening here? Seems like a pretty elaborate ruse to play on a group of people that are paying to come to your stadium. A professional sports organization hates the homosexual community so much that they knowingly created negative publicity for themselves just to make an antiquated, bigoted statement and then lie about it? That doesn't seem all that logical to do from a business perspective.
Is it possible that the San Diego Gay Men's Chorus is being a little too...uhhh...what's a socially acceptable synonym for gay...hmm...dramatic? Yeah, that's it! Pretty sure the San Diego Gay Men's Chorus is being a little dramatic if they think that his was a prejudice stunt instead of an actual technical difficulty. Granted, it's a rather unfortunate and untimely technical difficulty, but almost certainly a technical difficulty nonetheless. Sorry the sound wasn't working guys, but it's just one Star Spangled banner. Most of the fans are just there for a sporting event and they might get a little antsy waiting 15 more minutes to truly celebrate the LGBT community through song when there is a 3.5 hour baseball game they are trying to see the end of on a Sunday night. No need to assume intolerance when businesses realized that discrimination became very unprofitable at least several years ago.
P.S. "You sing like a girl!" isn't homophobic, it's sexist. Not everything is about you gays, and even it was - I would consider that quite the compliment.