WHAT: The Black Lives Matter debate enters the MLB All-Star Game…awkwardly.
WHO: Remigio Pereira, The Tenors
WHY WE CARE: There’s nothing new or shocking about political statements at sporting events. Just this past Saturday, four police officers walked out of a WNBA game they had been contracted to work when a group of Minnesota Lynx players wore T-shirts commemorating Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, the two black men recently gunned down by police. But when Remigio Pereira, one-fourth of The Tenors, changed the words of “O Canada” at the MLB All-Star game on Tuesday from “With glowing hearts we see thee rise, the True North strong and free” to the politically charged “We’re all brothers and sisters, all lives matter to the great,” it was shocking. Why? Hard to say, really. First of all, the “All Lives Matter” response to the Black Lives Matter movement has already been slammed from all sides, for missing the point that the Black Lives Matter movement’s stated goal is equality, not supremacy. Not only that, Pereira’s singing quartet was not the main event here. Nobody went to the game to see The Tenors. If Boston Red Sox star Mookie Betts had made a statement that would be one thing. But a member of the pop-classical a capella group singing the Canadian national anthem, which wasn’t even broadcast in the U.S.? Talk about an outsized ego.
Apparently Pereira’s fellow Tenors felt the same way. They issued a statement apologizing, and referring to Pereira as a “lone wolf” saying, “The actions of one member of this group were extremely selfish and he will not be performing with The Tenors until further notice.” Life pro tip: It’s never a good time to wade into a racially charged political debate you neither have a stake in nor seem to understand, but if you’re going to do it, don’t do it spontaneously on national television.