Where the original lyrics to the Canadian anthem say, “With glowing hearts we see thee rise/The True North strong and free,” a member of The Tenors sang, “We’re all brothers and sisters/All lives matter to the great.”
Around the middle of the All-Star Game, The Tenors released a statement apologizing for “the disrespectful and misguided lack of judgment by one member of the group acting as a ‘lone wolf’ today.” The group said that it was “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,” and that it had suspended Pereira.
Last week’s high-profile incidents that resulted in deaths, including two black men being killed by police and the subsequent shooting of five officers during a protest in Dallas, has brought the Black Lives Matter movement to the forefront of the national discussion. While some find All Lives Matter expresses a superior sentiment because of its ostensibly more inclusive message, others disdain it as an attempt to minimize the original sense of outrage behind Black Lives Matter and even imply that the latter phrase represents, rather than decries, racism.
Some who watched Tuesday’s rendition of “O Canada” were simply offended that The Tenors had the gall to change a national anthem’s lyrics. During the period after the group performed and before it issued its apology, many made their feelings known on social media. Here is a sampling of the reaction:
Reports from Petco Park had some in the crowd there gasping in surprise at the change in lyrics. TV viewers in Canada saw the rendition of their anthem, but it wasn’t televised live in the United States.