The San Diego Gay Men's Chorus is accusing the San Diego Padres baseball team of intentionally humiliating the singers during a Pride-themed game at Petco park.
One hundred singers affiliated with the choir were scheduled to sing the national anthem during the Saturday match-up between the Padres and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Instead of the men's voice, a woman's voice was broadcast for the entire length of the National Anthem. The confused singers stood on the field until being led off, where the audience heckled them with homophobic taunts.
In a Facebook post, the choir says there was tension bubbling up before Saturday -- the team suddenly demanded the singers purchase tickets to the game before rescinding the demand at the last minute -- and strongly insinuates the singers were purposefully embarrassed.
"No attempt was made to stop the recording and start over," according to the post. "No announcement of apology was made to the singers or their friends and families in the stands. No attempt to correct the situation occurred other than to force the 100 men to stand in the spotlight of center field for the song's duration and then be escorted off the field to the heckles of baseball fans shouting homophobic taunts including '"You sing like a girl.'"
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Padres president Mike Dee did apologize to chorus members, though there is no word on a rescheduled performance. The choir accepted the apology but condemned the team's short public statement on the matter (see below), saying it didn't address the gravity of the incident. The chorus is asking the City of San Diego City Attorney's Office and the City of San Diego Human Relations Commission to investigate the incident to see if the team violated the city's human rights ordinance.