Members of Canadian vocal group The Tenors have condemned one of their own singers’ “selfish” change of the country’s national anthem to include the phrase “all lives matter” during a performance at the Major League Baseball All-Star game on Tuesday.
The group sparked controversy during the performance of “O Canada” in San Diego after one member, Remigio Pereira, held up a sign bearing the oft-used rebuttal to the Black Lives Matter movement’s signature chant. During a solo, Pereira changed the lyric, “With glowing hearts we see thee rise, The True North strong and free!” to, “We’re all brothers and sisters, All lives matter to the great.”
Soon after the anthem, The Tenors released a statement on Twitter saying Pereira acted as “a lone wolf” and calling the change “extremely selfish.” They said the singer would not be performing with the quartet “until further notice.”
“All lives matter” has become a jumbled response by some to the phrase “black lives matter.” Vox notes that “all lives matter” is “a complete misunderstanding” of what the Black Lives Matter movement is about.
The person on the receiving end interprets the phrase as “black lives matter more than any other lives.”
But the point of Black Lives Matter isn’t to suggest that black lives should be or are more important than all other lives. Instead, it’s simply pointing out that black people’s lives are relatively undervalued in the U.S.
The use of “all lives matter” by some celebrities has drawn intense backlash. Jennifer Lopez swiftly deleted a tweet this week after including the phrase in a promo shot for her new single benefiting victims of the Orlando shooting.