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Old 05-23-2016, 08:30 AM   #1
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San Diego Padres under fire for mishandling gay chorus' anthem

The San Diego Gay Men's Chorus is criticizing the San Diego Padres for mishandling the group's scheduled performance of the national anthem.

The chorus said on its Facebook page that 100 of its members gathered to perform the song before the game Saturday against the Los Angeles Dodgers when the Padres instead played the recorded voice of a woman singing the anthem. Their statement said no attempt was made to stop the recording and that the group received "homophobic taunts" while being escorted off the field.

Dan England posted the video on Facebook with the caption:

"The SDGMC stood on the Petco Park field to sing the national anthem in front of 40,000+ fans during pride night and were shocked when the stadium played a female singer instead! Mike Dee the president and CEO of the Padres has apologized, but is it enough? I want answers! Was it a mistake or was it something more."

Chorus members called for the Padres and Major League Baseball to investigate whether anyone intentionally played a woman's voice "with the purpose of denigrating and/or ridiculing gay men."

The Padres issued a statement Saturday night saying a mistake was made that prevented the chorus from performing and that "we apologize to anyone in the ballpark who this may have offended." The Padres said they'd reached out to the chorus "to express our deep regret for the error."

Billy Bean, an MLB vice president for social responsibility and inclusion, tweeted Sunday that "it was very unfortunate that there was a technical error" that prevented the chorus from performing but added that the Padres "have supported our inclusion message at MLB without hesitation." Bean, a former Padres player, revealed he was gay in 1999, four years after his final major league season.

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