Monday, May 23, 2016

Major League Baseball investigating San Diego Gay Men's Chorus controversy at Padres' game

San Diego Gay Men's Chorus 'humiliated' by National Anthem blunder at Padres game
The San Diego Gay Men's Chorus' performance of the National Anthem was drowned out by a recording Saturday at the San Diego Padres baseball game.

By Matt Hamilton and Tony BarbozaContact Reporters
San Diego Padres

Major League Baseball said Monday it was investigating why a San Diego Gay Men's Chorus performance at the Saturday San Diego Padresgame was drowned out by recorded music.

The San Diego Padres said late Sunday that they had disciplined an employee and stopped working with a contractor who the team said was involved.

The choir's Saturday performance was drowned out by a recording of a woman singing the national anthem that was broadcast in the stadium.

The incident generated outrage, partly because the chorus was singing during "Out at the Park," a special LGBT pride event at the stadium. Members of the San Diego Gay Men's Chorus accused the Padres of homophobia and called for an investigation by the team as well as Major League Baseball.

MLB spokesman Pat Courtney told the San Diego Union-Tribune that it was also gathering information.

“It’s difficult to say a timetable,” Courtney told the paper. “It depends how long it is, in terms of where the information takes you. The plan is and the goal is, as expeditiously as possible.”

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The Padres said in a statement that they had conducted an internal probe and concluded that there was "no evidence of malicious intent" by any of the individuals involved in the mishap, but the organization faulted personnel for not immediately intervening and correcting the situation.

"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 a statement. "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.”

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