During their delivery of the national anthem, member Remigio Pereira went off-script and changed the lyrics to include the phrase: "All lives matter."
Subbing out the familiar line about "glowing hearts," the singer instead declared, "We're all brothers and sisters, all lives matter to the great."
He has since defended his change-up, saying that he was trying to make a "positive statement" in the wake of tragedy.
I've been so moved lately by the tragic loss of life and I hoped for a positive statement that would bring us ALL together. ONE LOVE.— Remigio of TheTenors (@RemigioPereira) July 13, 2016
I speak for the human race and the lives of all sentient beings. Love, peace and harmony for ALL has always been my life's purpose.— Remigio of TheTenors (@RemigioPereira) July 13, 2016
Once we awaken the love within, we will never be without.— Remigio of TheTenors (@RemigioPereira) July 13, 2016
Peace be with us all.
But in addition to many taking offence at the mere act of changing the anthem's words, critics are also condemning Pereira for using a phrase that has been adopted by opponents of the Black Lives Matter movement to counter the fight against racism and police brutality.
The Tenors have issued a statement, insisting that Pereira was acting as a "lone wolf" and apologizing on behalf of Pereira for changing the lyrics to "our treasured anthem" and instead using "this coveted platform to serve his own political views."
Watch cringe-worthy footage of the performance in question (and the other Tenors' reactions) below [via CBC].