A London concert hall is calling strike three on a singer after his All-Star Game controversy.
Remigio Pereira, a member of the Tenors, had been scheduled to perform at the Aeolian Hall on September 28th. However, the venue pulled the plug on that show after he changed the words of O Canada before the Major League Baseball All-Star Game on Tuesday night.
He replaced the lyrics “With glowing hearts we see thee rise, the True North strong and free” with “We’re all brothers and sisters, all lives matter to the great.”
The changed sparked controversy on social media and anger from Black Lives Matter activists and supporters as well as those who did not believe a national anthem is the right time for a political statement.
“We’re an organization that really embraces diversity,” said Clark Bryan, the executive director of Aeolian Hall. “We are really concerned that this phrase at the ball game trivializes the problems facing black people. We want to distance ourselves from any sort of rhetoric like that.”
The Tenors have said that Pereira was a “Lone Wolf” when the anthem was changed.
The band apologized via a statement and says that Pereira would no longer be performing with the group until further notice.
— The Tenors (@TenorsMusic) July 13, 2016
“We’ve been inundated since the beginning (of Wednesday) with people wanting us to cancel that concert and people that purchased tickets wanting refunds,” Bryan said “It certainly goes against the values of our organization and our people.”
Concert goers who had tickets for the September 28th show will be offered a full refund.
“(Pereira may have been) truly naive and did not under the gravity of what he was saying,” Bryan said. “But we’re in a time when we need to do everything possible to help the black community gain the equity that they’ve been fighting so long to get.”
During the All-Star Game performance, Pereira also held up a sign which he pulled from inside his jacket. It read “All Lives Matter” and “United We Stand.”
The performance wasn’t shown live on American TV, but it was broadcast in Canada.
Pereira issued his own statement on social media:
I’ve been so moved lately by the tragic loss of life and I hoped for a positive statement that would bring us ALL together. ONE LOVE. That was my singular motivation when I said all lives matter. I am disturbed that people would attribute anything other than the purist of intentions to my actions. I weep for the senseless loss of life, the lives of all my brothers and sisters in this world. I speak for the human race and the lives of all sentient beings. Love, peace and harmony for ALL has always been my life’s purpose. I say this from the bottom and all corners of my heart, be good to one another, love one another. Let us all live in peace, it is everyone’s birthright. Once we awaken the love within, we will never be without.
Peace be with us all.
(photo courtesy of Fox Sports)