Canadian quartet The Tenors changed a lyric of O Canada as they made a political statement while singing the national anthem at Tuesday night’s MLB all-star game.
The group based in British Columbia changed a line of the anthem during their on-field performance at Petco Park to “We’re all brothers and sisters, all lives matter to the great.” The normal lyric is “With glowing hearts we see thee rise. The True North strong and free.”
One member of the four-man group held up a sign saying “All Lives Matter” while singing the altered lyrics. The words “United We Stand” were written on the back of the sign.
Although the audio wasn’t crystal-clear at the park, many fans reacted with surprise. The Canadian anthem wasn’t shown live on U.S. television, but it aired in Canada, where the Tenors’ decision to change the words drew overwhelming criticism on social media.
The Tenors are Clifton Murray, Fraser Walters, Remigio Pereira and Victor Micallef. The Juno Award-winning group has recorded multiple platinum albums in Canada.
“All Lives Matter” has become a common online response in recent months to the “Black Lives Matter” movement, particularly after the police shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.
The Tenors released a statement two hours later on their Twitter page saying only one member was aware of the lyric change during that performance. The statement points the finger at Remigio Pereira, who sang the ad-libbed lyrics while holding a sign that read “All Lives Matter” to the all-star game crowd.
Really Tenors? That was appropriate? That was embarrassing! #AllStarGame
— Shannon Horneman (@Zeddemore) July 13, 2016
How about not changing the lyrics to the Canadian anthem to make a racist and ignorant statement. That's always an option #tenors
— Martine Dennie (@MartineDennie) July 13, 2016
Unsure why people are upset about the Tenors changing O Canada's lyrics. Left already decided the words can be changed because of politics.
— Andrew Lawton (@AndrewLawton) July 13, 2016
— Melissa Royle (@melissaroyle) July 13, 2016
— Mark O'Henly (@140notes) July 13, 2016
— David James Brock (@davidjamesbrock) July 13, 2016