Monday, May 23, 2016

Padres discipline an employee and terminate a contractor yet claim no malicious intent - UPDATED

On Saturday the San Diego Gay Men's Chorus was humiliated at Petco Park when they were supposed to sing the national anthem before a San Diego Padres game. This was at “Out at the Park,” an LGBT pride event at the stadium. The 100 member choir took their position on the field waiting for their track to be played over the sound system. Instead, their voices were drowned out by a recording of a woman singing the anthem over the loudspeaker system.

Nobody said anything to the chorus members and they were led off the field by Padres staff. Making matters worse, a number of fans hurled homophobic slurs at the group. I would add that most teams will eject a fan for yelling a racial slur. Apparently, everyone remained at the stadium.

In a statement released Sunday the team claimed that it investigated the matter disciplining one employee and terminating the services of a contractor. Yet, they claim that there was no malicious intent.

Really? I could understand putting on the wrong music. Stuff happens but you stop it and correct the error. If this wasn't malicious then why did they allow the wrong music to play to completion? If that is the case why was an employee disciplined? Where is the press release regarding modified rules of conduct at Petco Park? I have reached out to the team on this matter. Perhaps later this afternoon (due to the time difference) I will have some answers.

UPDATED with complete statement from the Padres which was released on Sunday::
SAN DIEGO – The San Diego Padres released the following statement regarding last night’s National Anthem.

“After a thorough examination of the events that occurred during last night’s National Anthem, we have concluded our internal investigation and have found no evidence of malicious intent on the part of any individuals involved. Based both on the unintentional mistake that was made, as well as the failure to immediately intervene and correct the situation by those who had oversight, we have terminated our relationship with the third-party contractor who was responsible for the error, and taken disciplinary action against our employee who was responsible for the game production on Saturday.

We once again sincerely apologize to members of the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus, their families and those who came out to support their Pride Night performance. The Padres organization is proud of our longstanding commitment to inclusion – within both our sport and our community. We deeply regret that a mistake on our part has called this into question, but accept full responsibility.”

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