Saturday’s Dodgers/Padres tilt in San Diego got off to a rather confusing start, as a 100-man chorus invited by the host ballclub was drowned out by a prerecorded tape of a woman singing “The Star Spangled Banner”. From the San Diego Union-Tribune’s Kirk Kenney and Deborah Sullivan Brennan :
The anthem is not always performed live, and this was an instance where a taped version was to be played with the performers on the field. Saturday was scheduled as a “Pride Night” game, aimed at engaging lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender baseball fans. Members of the chorus said they were shocked and embarrassed by the incident, and want to find out how it happened.
“I really want to believe that it was an error,” said Bob Lehman, executive director of the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus. “But the first thought was, did they do this on purpose?”
Padres officials would not comment on the record about the incident, although a team official said it was a mistake with no malicious intent. The official added that the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus has performed the anthem at Petco on several other occasions without incident.
As the Chorus exited the field some spectators murmured encouragement or apologies for the mistake, but others jeered insults, and shouted “You sing like a girl,” Lehman said. Experiencing such a blunder at Pride Night was discouraging, singers said. The fact that team officials didn’t correct it immediately made matters worse, they added.
“I can understand how that happens, but what I didn’t understand why they didn’t stop the track or apologize,” artistic director RC Haus said.