The MLB All-Star Game happens but just once a year, and it’s nearly always a decent game. You can watch pitchers subbing for position players, other guys grooving their throws to set up an aging star on the verge of retirement (we see you, Jose Fernandez), and even sometimes witnessing a switch-hitter mess with a legend on the mound. And somehow, all of these fun and games decide who gets home field advantage in the World Series. That might not make the most sense, but at least everyone has a good time and gets to enjoy themselves mingling with players from other teams.
Yet not even a friendly All-Star Game can escape from controversy, apparently. The Tenors, formerly The Canadian Tenors, were chosen to sing the Canadian National Anthem in advance of first pitch at Petco Park. In the middle of the anthem, the quartet decided to switch up some of the lyrics in support of All Lives Matter.
The change, inserted after “in all thy sons command,” is “We’re all brothers and sisters, all lives matter” which is not only an incredibly misguided thing to do at a nationally televised sporting event but a decision that insults the Black Lives Matter movement, which protests police violence and the treatment of Black citizens across the United States. It feels weird to be mad at Canada or anybody from there, who is ever mad at Canada?! However in this case, it also feels incredibly right.
During the performance, one member of the group also held up a sign that read “All Lives Matter,” apparently so that if anybody couldn’t hear the altered lyrics clearly they wouldn’t be confused as to exactly what The Tenors’ opinion is about this particular matter.
As you might imagine people everywhere, but especially Canadians, are incredibly unhappy with this move. Talk about hitting a flat note, Tenors.
The Tenors have yet to release any sort of comment – whether apologetic or defensive – about their decision to change the words to a national anthem in support of a socially insensitive “cause” but in all probability some type of statement is imminent. In the meantime, Major League Baseball HQ is definitely scrambling to erase The Tenors’ phone number from their contact list.
Update: The Tenors have released a statement about the altered lyrics which attributes the decision to group member Remigio Pereira. The video shows him holding the All Lives Matter sign and singing the new words proudly while the other men harmonize next to him so it makes sense that this was one man’s decision and not the group’s as a whole.
Unsurprisingly, Pereira will not be appearing or performing with The Tenors in the foreseeable future.