SAN DIEGO (CBS 8/CNS) - The San Diego Gay Men's Chorus is publicly accepting the apology and asking for the rehiring of the San Diego Padre's deejay who was fired for mistakenly playing the wrong soundtrack at a Padres game.
The incident happened during the Saturday, May 21st pregame ceremony against the Dodgers. The San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus was scheduled to sing the national anthem when a control room error prevented the performance. Instead, a recording of a woman singing the anthem played while the 100 members of the chorus stood on the field for the duration of the song until being escorted off.
Members of the chorus were subjected to heckling when they left the field, and questions were subsequently raised about the motivation behind the incident.
The Padres conducted an investigation after Saturday's game and found "no evidence of malicious intent." On Monday, Padres President and CEO Mike Dee said Major League Baseball will investigate the incident.
Art Romero, the former deejay for the Padres is also known as DJ Artform. He says he accidentally played the wrong national anthem. Romero issued an apology on Facebook in which he said he made "an unfortunate mistake" and was "appalled" at homophobic remarks made by some fans.
My deepest apologies and sincere regret toward the entire San Diego Gay Men's Chorus & the LGBT community for the incident that occurred during the National Anthem. It was a very unfortunate mistake but it was just that, an error. I in no way, shape or form directed any type of hate, bad intent or discrimination towards the Chorus or anyone involved. The incident was not a representation of myself, San Diego & it's amazing Baseball fans. I have felt the consequences of my mistake as my dream job has dissolved before my eyes which does not take away that I am extremely sorry for the horrible mistake that occurred. I have family members & friends that are a part of the LGBT community & I have always been a supporter of Equal Human Rights, so it pains me greatly to see that I am being accused of acting intentionally. As a former high school and college baseball player, I understand the importance of ensuring equality for all in sports and am appalled by some of the negative, homophobic comments made by fans related to the National Anthem incident. I have reached out to LGBT leaders in San Diego and am currently in discussion regarding a meeting with the Chorus and LGBT leaders personally in order to be as constructive as possible about the error. I've let down my City, my family & everyone who had faith in me. Once again,I'm truly sorry for this entire ordeal. ~ "DJ ARTFORM"
The Padre’s fired DJ Artform after the incident.
The San Diego Gay Men's Chorus and radio host Carl DeMaio, a gay former City Council member and mayoral candidate, have called on the Padres to give Romero his job back following the deejay's apology. The San Diego Gay Men's Chorus stated in a Facebook post:
As a community outreach organization dedicated to bringing positive change to the world through music, we applaud the San Diego Padres organization and its chief executive Mike Dee for its ongoing efforts to make something good come out of unfortunate recent events. We have met with Mr. Dee and he has agreed to meet with and work closely with the LGBT community to bring our communities together with constructive, positive change.
We also would like to publicly accept the sincere apology of DJ ARTFORM and recognize his support for the LGBT community and equality for all people. We do not wish to see him lose his job with the San Diego Padres and kindly ask the Padres to reinstate him. Everyone deserves a second chance.
We have been overwhelmed by the positive support from people around the world and would like to thank Mayor Kevin Faulconer, City Councilman Todd Gloria and many other community leaders for helping us turn this into something positive for the City of San Diego.
An online petition to the Padres is calling on the organization to reinstate DJ Artform.
The Padres declined to comment on the reinstatement calls, pending the completion of an investigation into the incident by Major League Baseball.
In a Twitter post on Monday, Padres President and CEO Mike Dee said the chorus was invited to perform before a game later this season.