Black Lives Matter Toronto co-founder Sandy Hudson says she was dumbfounded when she heard the O Canada lyrics were changed to include the phrase “all lives matter” by a member of the Canadian musical group The Tenors during the Major League Baseball all-star game in San Diego Tuesday night.
“It was really frustrating to hear that that’s happening in such a space,” Hudson said during an interview on Global’s The Morning Show on Wednesday.
During their on-field performance at Petco Park, a line in the Canadian anthem sung by Tenors member Remigio Pereira was changed to “We’re all brothers and sisters, all lives matter to the great.” The original lyric is “With glowing hearts we see thee rise, the True North strong and free.”
Hudson said the “all lives matter” phrase is a response to Black Lives Matter and is meant to silence what the group is calling for.
“It’s meant to delegitimize us. But if all lives truly matter, than Black lives would matter too. Of course, all lives matter is a principle that would should all espouse,” she said.
VIDEO: ‘All lives matter’: The Tenors changes Canada’s national anthem during baseball game
“But if Black lives don’t matter, if we see that black people are being killed with impunity by police, then you know in our society that Black lives don’t matter. So that call, Black Lives Matter, is to ensure that eventually all lives will matter.”
Tuesday’s incident follows a series of Black Lives Matter protests prompted by two police shootings in the United States that left two black men dead and last Friday’s deadly sniper attack on Dallas police officers.
The Tenors issued a statement following the incident apologizing for Pereira’s actions. They declared he was “acting as a lone wolf” who “used this coveted platform to serve his own political views.”
They also said Pereira was “selfish” and that he would “not be performing with The Tenors until further notice.”
-With a file from Kevin Nielson and The Canadian Press