Padres take action, apologize for National Anthem incident
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — A third-party contractor has been deemed responsible and was fired for a mishap at Petco Park Saturday that prevented the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus from performing the national anthem.
The San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus was scheduled to perform the National Anthem to open the Padres’ game, but the 100 men gathered never had the opportunity to do so. Instead, a recording of a woman singing the anthem played over the sound system, leaving the group to wait in the field for the embarrassing moment to end.
An investigation into the incident at the Padres-Dodgers game launched by the Padres found “no evidence of malicious intent,” but the team did take action.
The Padres released a statement Sunday night that stated they had terminated its relationship with the third-party contractor responsible for the error and that disciplinary action had been taken against the employee responsible for game production."After a thorough examination of the events that occurred during last night’s National Anthem, we have concluded our internal investigation and have found no evidence of malicious intent on the part of any individuals involved,” according to the Padres statement.
“Based both on the unintentional mistake that was made, as well as the failure to immediately intervene and correct the situation by those who had oversight, we have terminated our relationship with the third-party contractor who was responsible for the error, and taken disciplinary action against our employee who was responsible for the game production on Saturday.”
After the incident Saturday, Bob Lehman, executive director of the chorus, wrote in a statement on the group’s Facebook page that the situation was only made worse by the fact that no apologies and no attempt to start over or fix the problem were made.
"What should have been a night of joy and celebration at Petco Park [Saturday] night, instead turned into a nightmare raising serious questions about homophobia within the San Diego Padres organization and its relationship with the LGBT community," Lehman said.
The Padres issued an apology Saturday and again apologized in their statement Sunday.
“We once again sincerely apologize to the members of the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus, their families and those who came out to support their Pride Night performance,” according to the Padres 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.”