LOS ANGELES: Canadian singing group The Tenors apologized and suspended one of its members on Tuesday (Wednesday in Manila) after he inserted the “All Lives Matter” slogan into the national anthem at baseball’s All-Star Game.
The Tenors, a quartet prominent in Canada who perform both operatic and pop fare, had been chosen to sing the Canadian national anthem in San Diego before Major League Baseball’s annual inter-league face-off.
One singer, Remigio Pereira, held up a makeshift sign that said, “All Lives Matter,” as he tinkered with the wording of “O Canada.”
“We’re all brothers and sisters / All lives matter to the great,” he sang to a scattering of boos and a largely negative social media reaction.
He did not give further signs of his motivations but “All Lives Matter” has sometimes been embraced as a slogan to counter the “Black Lives Matter” movement that has led protests against police brutality in the United States.
The Tenors later issued a statement offering “sincere apologies” for the “shameful” protest by Pereira, describing him as a “lone wolf” who did not consult the others.
“The other members of the group are shocked and embarrassed by the actions of Remigio Pereira, who changed the lyrics of our treasured anthem and used this coveted platform to serve his own political views,” the group said in a statement.
“The actions of one member of this group were extremely selfish and he will not be performing with The Tenors until further notice.”
The Tenors have performed at other major sporting events including the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
The Tenors have also sung with major pop and rock acts including Sting, Neil Young and Celine Dion.
Pereira is both a vocalist and guitarist whose parents hail from the Azores, spawning his interest in Portuguese music.
His recent social media postings do not indicate a political bent other than promoting a vegan diet.
The All-Star Game featured performances of both the US and Canadian national anthems as one Major League Baseball team, the Toronto Blue Jays, is based in Canada.