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Gay choir subjected to homophobic taunts during National Anthem calls for sacked DJ to be reinstated

Joseph McCormick May 25, 2016
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The San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus has called for a sacked DJ to be reinstated after they were humiliated over the weekend.

The choir was brought in to sing “The Star Spangled Banner” before the San Diego Padre’s baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday.

A recording of the choir was supposed to play over the loudspeakers – however, DJ Artform pressed the button to play a recording of a woman singing the anthem instead.

The confused singers stood on the field until being led off, as the audience booed and heckled them with homophobic taunts.

DJ Artform was sacked following the event, and released a statement saying: “One of the worst nights of my life, and everybody else involved unfortunately. I failed to upload the correct anthem for the gay men’s choir and I went to the first thing I had which was from the prerecording from the night before and unfortunately obviously that was a solo female artist for the anthem and it didn’t fit to the programming of the day.

He added: “In a moment of panic I went to the first thing I saw that said anthem and unfortunately the female vocal artist is what played over the PA system and it was an extremely embarrassing moment…Those are my mistakes and I own up to them. I hold myself accountable.//My stomach was in knots. I should have intervened. I should have turned it down. There’s a lot of ‘coulda woulda shouldas ‘that we could have done to avoid the incident…my heart was racing. Every second was an hour.”

Continuing the DJ, who was sacked after the incident, said: “There’s a lot of twists and turns on how this thing got perceived and I understand completely about the issues that have been underlying the LGBT community and the gay men’s choir so this is something that I don’t take lightly. I spoke to the director earlier this morning and I gave him my personal apology. I’m doing things on my side to be as constructive and proactive with this whole ordeal and dilemma….All I can do at this point is show who I am as a man and as an individual and as a DJ and own up to my mistake and let everybody know there was no mal intent or discriminatory actions toward anyone that night….I have family members and friends that are part of the community.”

But the choir has released a statement thanking the team for acting promptly, and saying they hope the DJ will be reinstated.

“As a community outreach organization dedicated to bringing positive change to the world through music, we applaud the San Diego Padres organization and its chief executive Mike Dee for its ongoing efforts to make something good come out of unfortunate recent events. We have met with Mr. Dee and he has agreed to meet with and work closely with the LGBT community to bring our communities together with constructive, positive change.

“We also would like to publicly accept the sincere apology of DJ ARTFORM and recognize his support for the LGBT community and equality for all people. We do not wish to see him lose his job with the San Diego Padres and kindly ask the Padres to reinstate him. Everyone deserves a second chance.

The statement adds: “We have been overwhelmed by the positive support from people around the world and would like to thank Mayor Kevin Faulconer, City Councilman Todd Gloria and many other community leaders for helpings us turn this into something positive for the City of San Diego.”

In a Facebook post following the game, the chorus had accused the baseball team of intentionally humiliating them, claiming tension was building before the game even began.

“No attempt was made to stop the recording and start over,” read to the post.

The choir claimed the incident followed “several days of troubling comments and behaviour” from the baseball team, which they say tried to prevent the singers from performing unless they each bought a ticket to the game.

They added that the incident raised “serious questions about homophobia within the San Diego Padres organisation and its relationship with the LGBT community.”

Padres president Mike Dee did later apologise to chorus members.

However, the chorus was disappointed with the short apology, so a second statement was issued, claiming “no evidence of malicious intent on the part of any individuals involved.”

The team added that the third-party contractor responsible for the error had been dismissed, and disciplinary action was being taken against the staff member responsible for the game production.

“The Padres organisation is proud of our longstanding commitment to inclusion — within both our sport and our community,” the team stated.

“We deeply regret that a mistake on our part has called this into question, but accept full responsibility.”

Related topics: baseball, Homophobia, LGBT, san diego gay men's chorus, san diego padres, US

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