The Tenors are speaking out about the national anthem controversy that’s sent one member into exile.
Two members of the Canadian singing group sat down for an interview with the CBC a day after Remigio Pereira altered the lyrics of ‘O Canada’ at baseball’s all-star game to include the phrase “all lives matter.”
Victor Micallef and Fraser Walters say they feel shattered that years of hard work has been threatened by the actions of Pereira, who they say gave no indication of his plans during a rehearsal earlier in the day Tuesday.
“If you were a fly on the wall you would have seen three very, very angry guys in the room talking to Remigio and him saying, ‘Well, if I asked for permission, you would have said no,'” said Walters.
A statement from the group said he would not be performing with them until further notice, and Micallef doubts they’ll ever be able to welcome him back.
“Obviously, after such a betrayal, not just to us, but to the whole country, two countries, I personally can’t see myself standing on the same stage,” he said.
The phrase “All Lives Matter” minimizes the systematic issues of racism that the black community is dealing with, particularly in the U.S.
Pereira made a post on Soundcloud Wednesday night, during which he tried to explain his motivation.
“This was not a political statement,” he said. “I don’t agree with killing. So if I don’t agree with killing, it means I don’t agree with black people dying.”
Aeolian Hall has cancelled Pereira’s performance scheduled in late September, with the venue offering full refunds to ticket-holders.
— Aeolian Hall (@AeolianHall) July 13, 2016