'Lone Wolf' Singer Apologizes for 'All Lives Matter' Message in Canadian Anthem at All-Star Game
The Tenors member Remigio Pereira in an emotional Facebook video said he's not racist and meant no "disrespect" altering the "O Canada" lyrics.
Remigio Pereira, the Canadian singer who inserted an "All Lives Matter" message when singing the Canadian anthem before this week's Major League Baseball All-Star Game, officially apologized Friday.
In an emotional Facebook video, Pereira, a member of the Canadian singing quartet The Tenors, said he never meant "to disrespect" the Canadian anthem. "To the people who are offended by my 'all lives matters' message, by no means am I racist, I have a bi-racial daughter and I grew up in a multi-cultural environment where my best friend was black," he said.
During his rendition of "O Canada" on Tuesday night, Pereira held up a sign saying "United We Stand" during the middle portion of the anthem, and sang: "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."
His altered lyrics earned Pereira, who was born in Boston and raised in Ottawa as a Portuguese-Canadian, universal scorn on social media. He was also suspended from The Tenors for not warning his fellow quartet members about his altered lyrics.
"I'd like to apologize to Black Lives Matter for perpetuating this new connotation to the words of 'all lives matter.' I stand with you for your voice. It deserves to be heard. You have been persecuted for many, many centuries," Pereira said in the video.
"As you can see, the events that have happened just now in Nice just goes to show we need love, we need unity," he added, in a reference to the truck attack on Thursday night in southern France that killed 84 people and left another 200 bystanders injured.
The other Tenors are Clifton Murray, Fraser Walters and Victor Micallef, who earlier on Twitter apologized to their fans and criticized Pereira for "acting as a 'lone wolf' today during the singing of the Canadian national anthem."
"All Lives Matter" has become an online response in recent months to the Black Lives Matter movement, particularly after the police shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. The phrase has received heavy criticism, and is widely perceived to use reductive reasoning to trivialize the problems specifically facing blacks.