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San Diego Padres Take Action Against Employees Involved in Gay Chorus Mishap

San Diego Padres Take Action Against Employees Involved in Gay Chorus Mishap

Chorus

The team insists that the Gay Men's Chorus wasn't intentionally drowned out, but still took action following the highly publicized incident. 

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After a prerecorded woman's voice was played at a Saturday night San Diego Padres game instead of a version of the National Anthem sung by the San Diego Gay Men's Chorus, the fallout has been steady. Following an official apology from the team's president, Padres management fired the company it uses for broadcasting of the National Anthem and disciplined the employee who oversees it.

One hundred members of the chorus awkwardly stood in silence at Saturday's game -- which was a special Pride-themed evening -- after the woman's voice was mysteriously broadcast. Choir members say they were ushered off the field after the recording, then booed and heckled by the audience.

The chorus initially insinuated the incorrect broadcast -- the Gay Men's Chorus was to sing to its own prerecorded vocals -- was intentionally played. In a Facebook post, the choir discussed tension between the group and Padres management leading up to Saturday's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers (San Diego won in the 11th inning, 3-2). Even after taking disciplinary action against those involved with the National Anthem, Padres president Mike Dee insisted the chorus was not embarrassed purposefully.

"We once again sincerely apologize to members of the San Diego Gay Men's Chorus, their families and those who came out to support their Pride Night performance," the team said in its a statement, published in the Los Angeles Times. "The Padres organization is proud of our longstanding commitment to inclusion -- within both our sport and our community. We deeply regret that a mistake on our part has called this into question, but accept full responsibility."

Major League Baseball announced on Friday that they were looking into the matter, but declined to give specifics about when their findings would be made public.

Cyd Zeigler, the cofounder of Outsports, believes the Padres' side of the story. He points out that the male chorus was supposed to sing to a prerecorded track, which may explain the mistake.

"This is not homophobia," Zeigler tells The Advocate. "What the chorus hasn't told you is that one of the guys who runs the whole in-game experience was out that night because of a car accident. The Padres have been very, very good on LGBT issues." The San Diego team hosted one of Major League Baseball's first Pride games.

As far as why the incorrect tape wasn't stopped, Zeigler says, "That's the ultimate question, and the Padres don't have a good answer. Maybe it's because it's [on] TV."

Advocate Magazine - KehlaniAdvocate Magazine - Gus Kenworthy

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