- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 13, 2016

TORONTO (AP) - The Tenors’ rendition of O Canada at the baseball All-Star Game got Don Cherry’s attention Wednesday as the hockey commentator slammed group member Remigio Pereira for embarrassing Canadians with his altered and politically charged lyrics.

Pereira changed a line in the anthem 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.”

The Tenors issued an apology after the performance, saying Pereira acted as a “lone wolf” and will not be performing with the group “until further notice.” In an interview Wednesday evening with the CBC, two of the other members of the group, Fraser Walters and Victor Micallef, said they were shocked by what happened.

“I don’t think we can see ourselves performing with Remigio again,” Walters said.

The fallout continued Wednesday for Pereira, who had a show at a London, Ontario, theater canceled.

He was to perform with guitarist Pavlo in late September at the Aeolian Hall, but the venue said it’s “an organization which embraces diversity” and would not “present or allow groups or individuals to use our facilities who either intentionally or unintentionally promote racism.”

Cherry was offended by the change of lyrics.

“Oh well, all the left wing weirdos in this country are happy,” Cherry said.

As for The Tenors, Cherry let the Canadian group off easy, except for the American-born Pereira. The Boston native who grew up in Gatineau, Quebec, also held up a sign reading “All Lives Matter.” The words “United We Stand” were written on the back of the sign.

“I do feel sorry for the rest of the Tenors,” Cherry said. “They will be noted forever as, ‘Oh yeah, The Tenors, they’re the jerks that embarrassed us at the All-Star game. Ah, they’re good singers, but what a bunch of jerks.’

“It’s sad, it was only one, and it was done by an American.”

Meantime, a spokeswoman for Heritage Minister Melanie Joly called the anthem a treasured Canadian symbol.

“Mr. Pereira’s change to the national anthem to further his political views is inappropriate and disrespectful,” Christine Michaud said.


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