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The Tenors’ singer inserts ‘all lives matter’ in Canadian anthem, sparks outrage

Canadians rained social media scorn on singer Remigio Pereira for inserting the politically-charged phrase “all lives matter” into the lyrics of the Canadian national anthem during an MLB game.

world Updated: Jul 14, 2016 14:15 IST
Black Lives Matter,The Tenors,Canada
The Tenors, shown on the scoreboard, caused a stir with Remigio Pereira's actions while singing "O Canada" prior to the MLB baseball All-Star Game, in San Diego.(AP)

Canadians rained social media scorn on a performer on Wednesday for inserting the politically-charged phrase “all lives matter” into the lyrics of the Canadian national anthem and holding up the words on a sign during the rendition.

Singer Remigio Pereira, a member of the Canadian quartet The Tenors, seemed to take his group by surprise with the change during the live performance at Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game in San Diego on Tuesday night.

“All lives matter” is a phrase used by critics of the Black Lives Matter anti-police brutality movement, who claim the movement promotes bias against other groups including white Americans and law enforcement.

Pereira inserted the line “we’re all brothers and sisters; all lives matter to the great” while holding up a small sign that read “all lives matter” on one side and “united we stand” on the other.

The Tenors apologised late on Tuesday, calling Pereira a “lone wolf” who acted without consulting the group and said he would no longer perform with them “until further notice”.

Pereira showed no contrition, posting a series of tweets claiming he simply wanted to unite everyone under one banner rather than create further divisions.

Tensions are high in the United States after protests over police shootings of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota, and a sniper attack on Dallas police, which claimed the lives of five police officers, by a black former U.S. soldier who said he wanted to “kill white people.”

The attack injected a new note of fear into two years of largely peaceful protests across the United States over police killings of black people in cities including Ferguson, Missouri, Chicago and Los Angeles.

Pereira did not immediately respond when Reuters reached out to him on Twitter. A publicist for The Tenors said on Wednesday no members are doing interviews and referred to the statement .

First Published: Jul 14, 2016 11:51 IST