Tenors' redemption at an historic Grey Cup in Toronto

Tenors' redemption at an historic Grey Cup in Toronto

Greg Finney

This past year, during Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game at Petco Park in San Diego, American-born/Canadian-raised tenor Remigio Pereira decided on his own to alter the lyrics to “O Canada” to include the phrase “All Lives Matter” and held up a placard stating the same incendiary comment.

Let’s be real for a minute. When this action was taken #BlackLivesMatter was well underway and well-known around the world. Names like Trayvon Martin and protests in places like North Carolina were, and still should be, household news.

And to not know that the genesis of the hashtag including the words “All Lives Matter” is widely recognized the world over as a white-privilege (can we use the term “white-lash” here? Thank you sincerely, Van Jones) response to a very real movement fighting very real and lethal consequences.

So why am I bringing it up?

The Tenors have finally done the right thing after removing Pereira from their lineup.

“I don’t think we can see ourselves performing with Remigio again,” fellow Tenor Fraser Walters said in July of this year.

Rightly so. The backlash received by the quartet immediately after Pereira’s “going rogue” prompted the decision back in the summer, and no amount of back-pedalling by Pereira was able to save his spot in the roster - imagine. Not even this non-apology released on Soundcloud was enough to save him.

This weekend, in Toronto, the boys had their chance to redeem themselves and appeared at the Grey Cup to sing the national anthem. In an total upset, the Ottawa Redblacks defeated the favourite Calgary Stampeders in overtime 39-33, thus ending a long-time drought for an Ottawa CFL team.

Luckily, this time, all the drama was saved for on the field.

The Tenors at the 2016 Grey Cup. Photo via Facebook.

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