Padres apologize to gay men's choir for National Anthem mix-up

As part of the San Diego Padres' "Out at the Ballpark" festivities at Petco Park on Saturday, they invited the San Diego Gay Men's Chorus to sing the National Anthem prior to the game against the Dodgers. The choir accepted the offer, but just as they were about to begin performing a recording of a woman singing the anthem played instead, and the choir remained in place throughout. Afterward, the choir was given no opportunity to perform, and some members claim they were heckled as they left the field.

Late Saturday night, the Padres released the following statement:

The San Diego Gay Men's Chorus, however, found the apology to be inadequate and subsequently released its own statement:

As noted, Padres president Mike Dee has offered to meet with the group, and this tweet by the Padres suggests that the choir has been invited back to perform:

As the statement above also notes, though, the choir's executive director, Bob Lehman, has called upon the Padres and Major League Baseball to investigate the incident and asked the City of San Diego "to determine if members of the San Diego Padres organization engaged in activity in violation of the San Diego Human Rights Ordinance or engaged in any deliberate hate crimes based on sexual orientation."

Billy Bean, MLB's ambassador for inclusion, also chimed in:

Via Big League Stew, here's the San Diego Gay Men's Chorus performing at Petco Park late in the 2015 season:

CBS Sports Writer

Dayn Perry has been a baseball writer for CBS Sports since early 2012. Prior to that, he wrote for FOXSports.com and ESPN.com. He's the author of three books, the most recent being Reggie Jackson: The... Full Bio

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