The San Diego Padres are in trouble after inviting a gay chorus to sing at the ballgame Saturday night and playing a woman's recorded voice over them—with thousands of fans in attendance, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. (See it here on YouTube.) The San Diego Gay Men's Chorus was on the field singing the national anthem when they heard a woman's voice perform the anthem over the speaker system. "I really want to believe that it was an error," says Bob Lehman, executive director of the chorus. "But the first thought was, did they do this on purpose?" The Padres issued a short apology "to anyone in the ballpark who this may have offended," and says it has "reached out to the Chorus to express our deep regret for the error." But the chorus, which sang at a Padres game last September, says it's not satisfied.
For one thing, the Padres haven't said how it happened. What's more, the choir says, the Padres initially demanded that singers buy tickets even if they didn't plan to stay at the game; when Lehman balked, the team agreed that only singers who planned to stay would buy tickets. Lehman says he felt uneasy about that, and upset when fans jeered at the choir after the anthem. "You sing like a girl," Lehman quotes one fan as saying. Now the choir is demanding investigations by the City, the Padres, and Major League Baseball. Was it just a snafu? The Padres say so, and The Big Lead calls it "a tremendous mixup," but that may be cold comfort to the choir. "I just felt this dread come over me because I was so embarrassed," says a choral member. "After that, we just stood there. We thought they would ask us to sing, but they just asked us to leave the field."