Remigio Pereira, co-founder of the vocal group The Tenors, must have forgotten that national anthems are not just made up to suit an artist’s whim. Remigio Pereira rode his emotions that floated out in his voice, angering MLB all-star games spectators.
Prior to the 2016 Major League Baseball All-star game, to the fans’ ire, Remigio Pereira switched the lyrics of ‘O Canada’ from the phrase “We’re all brothers and sisters. All lives matter to the brave,” to “With glowing hearts we see thee rise. The True North strong and free.”
National anthems are patriotic and its words are composed carefully as to evoke a country’s history and traditions. It is similar to a story of a nation’s struggle, entailing the hardships and triumphs of its people, like a voice from the past for and across all generations.
Remigio Pereira’s actions reflected his own views about the movement, Black Lives Matter (BLM), which speaks against violence and police brutality.
Like many others, Remigio Pereira got carried away about the senseless killings of black people, the latest involving Alton Sterling and Philando Castile and the shooting of police officers in Dallas.
He held up a piece of paper that says, “All lives matter”, which is a controversial response to “Black Lives Matter” as if to say all lives are equally at risk of violence despite documented studies that show more attacks by police against black men in the U.S.
The Tenors sincerely apologized and pointed to Remigio Pereira as a “lone wolf” in what they call an extremely selfish act. He won’t be performing with the group until further notice.
The changing of an anthem’s lyrics is highly appropriate and may even be a crime in most nations. Even a change of the tune and rendition could be an issue in most countries. It is unclear if any charges will be filed against the singer at this time.
Many followers of the MLB have released their opinions on social media calling it disrespectful and insensitive.
Meanwhile, Remigio Pereira issued a statement saying “I’ve been so moved lately by the tragic loss of life. I hoped for a positive statement that would bring us ALL together.”
Photo courtesy: Damien D/Flickr