Last week at the All-Star Game Remigio Pereira, a member of the quartet which sang the Canadian national anthem, created a controversy when he held up a sign which read “all lives matter” and changed the words of the song in order to deliver that message as well. He was immediately suspended from the group and became a reviled figure in both Canada and the United States, either for messing with the anthem, inserting politics into the performance, inserting controversial politics into the performance or some combination of the three.
A week later and Pereira is contrite. In his own way. He recorded an audio clip about it all and posted it on SoundCloud. It’s embedded below if you want to listen to it. For what it’s worth he rambles about how he wasn’t making a political statement and says he has black friends and makes a lot of noises of someone who wants to get past the controversy but maybe doesn’t know how. Probably because he didn’t totally grasp why what he did was controversial in the first place and still really doesn’t.
There’s an old adage about not attributing to evil when stupidity or ignorance is a possible explanation. That doesn’t always hold — there is evil in the world — but this all strikes me as a situation where a guy tried to swim in waters in which he wasn’t even qualified to wade. I sort of feel sorry for him on some odd level. All the more so after hearing how emotional he gets here. Not that that helps his statements.
I’m obviously the last person to tell someone to avoid politics. But when you stray into that during the course of your day job, you have to know what you’re talking about. Because if you don’t, you likely won’t understand the consequences of it when you mess up and hit a wrong note. Ahem.
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