O Canada lyric change at MLB All-Star Game steams Don Cherry
- The Black Lives Matter controversy hit the MLB All-Star Game when one of The Tenors changed the lyrics to O Canada, prompting outspoken Canadian hockey broadcaster Don Cherry to uncork an angry rant on Twitter.
Don Cherry has a message for everyone who was outraged by the altered Canadian national anthem that was performed at Tuesday night's Major League Baseball All-Star Game in San Diego: Don't blame Canada.
"We Canadians are taking the hit for that performance and it was done by an American," the Hockey Night In Canada commentator wrote on Twitter.
During the pre-game performance of O Canada, The Tenors' Remigio Pereira sang: "We're all brothers and sisters, all lives matter to the great," replacing the original lyrics, "With glowing hearts we see thee rise, the True North strong and free."
Pereira was born in Boston but moved with his family to Ottawa when he was six months old.
The performance, which was broadcast in Canada but not seen on Fox in the United States, sparked a wave of social media outrage. Many commenters were disturbed by the racial implications of "all lives matter," which is viewed by some as a rebuttal of the Black Lives Matter movement. Others were offended by the alteration of the anthem itself.
Cherry, though, wanted to set the record straight about who instigated the controversy.
"How sad, my buddies and myself were all pumped about the All-Star game," Cherry wrote. "We settled in, had a few pops. We were so proud with all the Blue Jays there and, of course, Canadian Michael Saunders. We were proud that Canada was represented by all these players, especially Michael.
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"It’s strange, I met these Tenors and they seemed like good guys. I told my buddies, 'boy don’t they look good in their suits and ties, they will make us proud.' And then one of them did his thing with our anthem. Can you imagine what the Americans think of us now?"
"Oh well, all the left wing weirdo’s [sic] in this country are happy," Cherry continued. "But I do feel sorry for the rest of the Tenors. They will be noted forever, as 'oh yeah, the Tenors, they’re the jerks that embarrassed us at the All Star game. Ah, they’re good singers but what a bunch of jerks.' It’s sad, it was only one, and it was done by an American."
The Tenors issued an apology through their Twitter account on Tuesday, stating that Pereira acted as "a lone wolf" and would not be performing with the group in the future.
The Tenors have recorded multiple platinum albums in Canada and have sung the anthem previously at several major sporting events, including the 2010 Winter Olympics opening ceremonies and the 2014 Stanley Cup Final.