News (USA)

San Diego Padres take action, apologize for humiliating gay chrous

San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus Executive Director Bob Lehman told The New York Times the team’s chief executive, Mike Dee, spoke with him personally and was sincerely apologetic. According to Lehman, the regular technician who should have played the chorus’s recording was involved in a car crash Friday night, and that a substitute was in the control room.

“Somebody didn’t know how to press the stop button?” Lehman asked The Times, rhetorically. “I couldn’t believe a professional organization like that didn’t know what to do.”

According to the Padres, its internal investigation found no evidence of malicious intent and that it has fired a third-party contractor the team said was responsible for the mistake. The team also said it had taken disciplinary action against one employee responsible for game production.

In its post on Facebook, the chorus applauded the Padres for its apology and for reaching out. But that may not be enough. Lehman said in a statement to San Diego Gay & Lesbian News, “We were founded 31 years ago to fight for social justice–to be heard loud and proud as openly gay men. Last night, our voices were silenced, but out of this we will be heard even louder than ever before.”

Lehman indicated the chorus and “LGBT leaders” have accepted an invitation to meet with the Padres organization “to build bridges within the LGBT community rather than burn them down.”

Read the team’s statement and apology, below, and click here for the chorus’s statement.


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