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MLB All-Star Game anthem singers changes “O Canada” lyrics to add the dismissive phrase “All Lives Matter”

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Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The group charged to sing the Canadian national anthem before the 2016 MLB All-Star Game decided to modify the lyrics to "O Canada", to add a reference to "All Lives Matter". The singer from the group The Tenors also held up a sign that read "All Lives Matter".

The official lyrics "With glowing hearts we see thee rise/The True North strong and free!" were changed to "We’re all brothers and sisters/All lives matter to the great".

"All Lives Matter" is considered to be a racist reaction to the "Black Lives Matter" movement, which has been protesting the treatment of black Americans and Canadians by police forces in North America. The vast majority of people saying "Black Lives Matter" are not saying that "Only Black Lives Matter" but instead are bringing attention to a problem that particularly affects black people. Therefore, the reactionary use of the phrase "All Lives Matter" is widely perceived as dismissive of the valid concerns that society at large has been wilfully indifferent about the rate that black people have been harassed and killed by police.

My stance has been that national anthems should have no place in sporting events that don’t involve national teams playing in international tournaments. I understand that not everyone shares that opinion, however I hope everyone agrees that singing altered lyrics to an anthem—one that is perceived as racist nonetheless—in such a public venue is inappropriate.

The Tenors’ manager Jeffrey Latimer can be reached by email at jeffrey@jlentertainment.ca.

UPDATE

According to The Tennors' official Twitter account, the singer changed the lyrics on his own and has been suspended from the group.