Major League Baseball will investigate why a recording of a woman singing the national anthem inadvertently played instead of the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus at a Saturday Pride Night Padres game.
“We are pleased that MLB will look into this matter and the Padres will cooperate fully,” Padres CEO Mike Dee tweeted on Monday morning. “Based on our own investigation and the decisive action that we took yesterday, we are eager for all the facts to come to light surrounding this unfortunate incident.”
Meanwhile, the DJ implicated in the technical error has been terminated, as the team continues to investigate what led to the mishap, officials said Monday.
Social media erupted shortly after the game between the Padres and the Los Angeles Dodgers, when a technical error silenced the chorus. The group was set to sing along to a pre-recorded track of the national anthem when a recording of a woman singing played instead.
The moment was captured on cellphone video by a fan attending the game and posted to Facebook. It went viral shortly thereafter.
On Sunday, the team announced the firing of an outside vendor — the DJ hired to play music — and disciplined a team employee.
NBC 7 has learned through multiple sources that the DJ, known by the moniker DJ ArtForm, failed to upload the pre-recorded music file sent in by the group. Instead, a pre-recorded version used the previous night was played.
The DJ has expressed remorse offering his "sincerest apologies and deepest regret.”
Saturday marked Pride Night at Petco Park, an event hosted in conjunction with the San Diego Pride organization's annual "Out at the Park" event to support the LGBT community. The chorus performed at Pride Night last year without issue.
The chorus sang along with the woman's vocal track out of respect for the national anthem, according to Bob Lehman, executive director of the chorus, who said the incident was humiliating.
The Padres later issued a statement apologizing to the chorus and asking them to come back to perform at a later game.
Dee reiterated this message on Monday.
“We deeply apologize to the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus and anyone else who was offended by our mistake,” he tweeted.
The chorus addressed the incident on its Facebook page Sunday morning in a post titled "You Sing Like a Girl," which questioned the San Diego Padres’ relationship with the LGBT community and called for a "full and transparent investigation" by the Padres, Major League Baseball, the San Diego City Attorney’s Office and the city of San Diego Human Relations Commission.
Lehman tells NBC 7 he believes the music was an accident, but is concerned with how the team immediately reacted to the mistake.
He said the chorus' 100 members were left on the field, with no announcement, apology or explanation of what happened at the time. And to make matters worse, Lehman said, the group was jeered by some people when they walked off the field. He’s concerned over any perceived problems between the LGBT community and the Padres.
“I want to see something good come out of this so that the relationship can be examined, and find out why the community feels that way and how we can fix it,’ Lehman said.
Lehman said he plans to meet with Dee later in the week. But he’s also concerned that the Padres didn’t completely respond or take action until the story took off on social media and publications around the nation, and the world.
“I’m sure they (the Padres) felt like we did on Saturday night. When that happened, we were shocked and didn’t know what to do. That’s what happened to them yesterday. The entire world came after them and said, hey something’s wrong here,” Lehman said.
Lehman said he wants to meet with the team before accepting the offer to return to return to perform at a later date.
Here is DJ ArtForm's full statement on the error:
“My deepest apologies and sincere regret toward the entire San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus & the LGBT community for the incident that occurred during the National Anthem. It was a very unfortunate mistake but it was just that, an error. I in no way, shape or form directed any type of hate, bad intent or discrimination towards the chorus or anyone involved. The incident was not a representation of myself, San Diego, & it’s amazing Baseball fans. I have felt the consequences of my mistake as a dream job has dissolved before my eyes which does not take away that I am extremely sorry for the horrible mistake that occurred. I have family members & friends that are a part of the LGBT community and I have always been a supporter of Equal Human Rights, so it pains me greatly to see that I am being accused of acting intentionally. As a former high school and college baseball player, I understand the importance of ensuring equality for all in sports and am appalled by some of the negative, homophobic comments made by fans related to the National Anthem incident. I have reached out to LGBT leaders in San Diego and am currently in discussion regarding a meeting with the Chorus and LGBT leaders personally in order to be as constructive as possible about the error. I’ve let down my city, my family and everyone who had faith in me. Once again, I’m truly sorry for this entire ordeal.”