A Canadian singing group struck out in a big way during a performance of the national anthem at Tuesday’s Major League Baseball All-Star game.
As the Tenors were singing “O Canada” in front of the San Diego crowd, singer Remigio Pereira altered some of the lyrics to include the phrase “All Lives Matter.”
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.”
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.
The move has been slammed widely online, and the group itself issued a statement:
The Tenors are deeply sorry for the disrespectful and misguided lack of judgment by one member of the group acting as a ‘lone wolf’ today during the singing of the Canadian national anthem at the Major League Baseball All-Star Game in San Diego.
The other members of the group are shocked and embarrassed by the actions of Remigio Pereira, who changed the lyrics of our treasured anthem and used this coveted platform to serve his own political views.
Our sincere apologies and regrets go out to everybody who witnessed this shameful act, to our fellow Canadians, to Major League Baseball, to our friends, families, fans and to all those affected.
The actions of one member of this group were extremely selfish and he will not be performing with The Tenors until further notice.
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.
Many people are angry not only because the lyrics of the national anthem were altered, but because of the message Pereira was trying to send.
Some have argued “All Lives Matter” is a more inclusive title for the Black Lives Matter movement, which campaigns against racism and police brutality directed toward the black community.
Despite numerous studies that show black men are much more likely to be killed by police officers stateside, proponents of “All Lives Matter” claim all lives are equally at risk.
The phrase also minimizes the systematic issues of racism that the black community is dealing with, particularly in the U.S.
(photo courtesy of Fox Sports)