Scars and gripes

Now that the regular baseball season has begun again, let’s go back to Tuesday’s All-Star Game when Remigio Pereira, one of The Tenors singing Oh Canada, altered two lines. Everybody from Don Cherry on up denounced his lack of pride, passion and patriotism. Pereira’s fellow tenors said he was a “lone wolf” and promptly dumped him from the group.

I say, hold on here. Exactly what’s the matter with his substitute wording, “We’re all brothers and sisters, all lives matter to the great.” Nobody can argue with that. Was it the wrong venue? In fact, no American viewer of the pre-game show even saw or heard him. The U.S. network cut to a commercial rather than broadcast some foreign anthem.

How many Canadians who pretend to be aghast actually know the words to our anthem? The only public place I get to sing Oh Canada is at Blue Jays games. And when I do, I’m the only person singing for rows around. In the late innings, when they play B.J. Thomas’s Hooked on a Feeling, everybody sings. So fans are able to warble, but only when they want.

Of all the things that happened this week, Pereira shouldn’t even register on the Richter scale of worry. Yet there he was yesterday on his Facebook page apologizing once again. I say let’s embrace the Boston-born Pereira. Canadians are forever saying “sorry” even when it’s not their fault. He’s certainly said “sorry” often enough to be granted the Order of Canada.


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