The Padres are in hot water following a mistake made during the national anthem ahead of Saturday’s win over the Dodgers at Petco Park.
The San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus was assembled and prepared to sing the national anthem on Saturday when a recorded voice of a woman singing came over the loudspeakers. When the song ended, the 100 members were escorted off the field only to be heckled by a number of fans in the stands.
The Padres issued a brief statement later Saturday to apologize for the mixup.
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) May 22, 2016
Executive director of the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus Bob Lehman fired back by releasing a lengthy statement Sunday, saying no effort was made to stop the recording or start the song over.
“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,” the statement read, in part.
Lehman added the mistake “followed several days of troubling comments and behavior within the San Diego Padres organization” and called for MLB to launch an investigation into the incident.
“Three days before the game, San Diego Padres representatives aggressively sought to prevent singers from performing the national anthem unless they purchased a ticket to the game — even if they did not plan to stay for the game — which was not part of any previous discussion or written or verbal agreement and would have cost the small, community-based non-profit thousands of dollars,” the statement read. “The demand eventually was rescinded on Friday following repeated complaints made by SDGMC and San Diego Pride to San Diego Padres management.”
While the Gay Men’s Chorus acknowledges the Padres for owning up to their mistake, they still want answers from the team and the league as to what went wrong.
Coming off back-to-back wins to snap their losing streak, the Padres will look to sweep the Dodgers when they meet again Sunday at 4:40 p.m. ET.
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