San Diego Padres Under Fire for Leaving Gay Men's Chorus Voiceless on Pride Night

The Padres apologized and terminated the vendor responsible for the error.

ByBRIAN MCBRIDE
May 23, 2016, 1:31 AM

— -- The San Diego Padres apologized and said tonight they have cut their ties to a contractor they blamed for having a recording of a woman singing the national anthem play as the San Diego Gay Men's Chorus was set to sing during Pride Night at at Petco Park.

The Gay Men's Chorus called for an investigation into why its members were not allowed to sing the anthem at Saturday night's Dodgers-Padres game.

The chorus was set to sing the national anthem when the control room played a recorded version of a woman singing. Instead of being allowed to sing the anthem after the recording finished, the chorus was escorted off the field.

The group said that no attempt was made to stop the recording and that the group received "homophobic taunts" while being escorted off the field.

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."

Bob Lehman, the executive director of the chorus, issued a long statement on the group's Facebook page.

"What should have been a night of joy and celebration at Petco Park last night, instead turned into a nightmare raising serious questions about homophobia within the San Diego Padres organization and its relationship with the LGBT community," he said.

The Padres apologized via Twitter Saturday night and by Sunday evening announced they had terminated their relationship with the third-party contractor responsible for the error.

"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 statement said. "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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