The Canadian Tenors have called Remigio Pereira a “lone wolf” after he held up a sign saying “All Lives Matter” while singing at the 2016 MLB All-Star Game. The group, now known as simply the Tenors, had been booked in to sing the Canadian national anthem, “O Canada.” Pereira also inserted the phrase into the song. Their effort was only shown in Canada as the U.S. broadcast went to a commercial break while they sang.
The phrase “All Lives Matter” has been cited as a racist counter to the “Black Lives Matter” movement. As comedian Arthur Chu wrote on Twitter, “Do people who change #BlackLivesMatter to #AllLivesMatter run thru a cancer fundraiser going ‘THERE ARE OTHER DISEASES TOO.'”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Pereira Has Been Removed From the Group Following His Action
In a statement, the Canadian Tenors, who now go as simply The Tenors, announced that Pereira “will not be performing with The Tenors until further notice.” The group described his actions as that of a “lone wolf.” The other members said they were “shocked and embarrassed” by the statement. They went on to deride Pereira for altering “the lyrics of our treasured anthem and used this coveted platform to serve his own political views.”
The last tweet before the incident showed the group in relaxed spirits at Petco Park in San Diego prior to the game. While after the controversy, Pereira sent out a series of tweets saying:
That was my singular motivation when I said “All Lives Matter.” I’ve been so moved lately by the tragic loss of life and I hope for a positive statement that would bring us ALL together. ONE LOVE.
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.
From the bottom and all corners of my heart, be good to one another, love one another. Let us all live in peace, it is everyone’s birthright.
Once we awaken the love within, we will never be without. Peace be with us all. Remi.
2. Pereira Is a Flat Earth Truther
One of Pereira’s more extreme beliefs involves his theories that the earth is flat. On July 9, he posted a lengthy rant on his Facebook page, saying in part:
The world will soon realize the lies and the deception put before us all when we one day awaken to a new state of being. A state of being held hostage by the same elite corporations and military industrial complex that told us they had our best interests at heart.
That post was accompanied with a video detailing the earth is flat conspiracy. While on July 11, he questioned the sun and her relationship with clouds.
3. In 2014, Pereira Said He’d Like to Be Canada’s Prime Minister, So He Could ‘Make Changes That This World Needs’
During Pereira’s 2014 interview with Canadian-Italian newspaper Il Postino, he said that if he wasn’t a singer. Pereira explained, “I’d like to be the prime minister of the country make changes that this world needs.”
On his Twitter profile, Pereira mentions that he is vegan since 2014.
4. He Only Turned to Singing at 21 When an Injury Ruined His Burgeoning Hockey Career
Pereira is the son of two Portuguese-native parents, according to an interview he gave in 2014. He had eight siblings, two of whom died very young. Pereira added that he was born in Boston and at 6 months old, his parents decided to relocate to Ottawa.
Speaking about the move Pereira told the Metro West Daily News:
In Canada, it is hockey by day and hockey by night. As a boy, all I did was play hockey. As a teenager, though, I sustained an injury that made me realize that my dreams of one-day playing competitive hockey in the NHL were squashed.
After that, Pereira went to study at the University of Ottawa and took up classical guitar. He says, “Growing up, I was a big fan of Guns N’ Roses, Metallica, Van Halen, and Aerosmith, and so if anyone asked me then if I would be singing in a group like the Tenors, I would have said, are you kidding?” He went on to join the Canadian Tenors in 2006. The group released their first album, The Canadian Tenors, in 2008.
5. Pereira Appeared in a Campaign Where Fathers Empowered Their Daughters
In 2014, Pereira appeared in a video as part of a campaign to help fathers empower their daughters. During the clip, Pereira tells his daughter, Gabriella, that he will empower her with love. On his official profile at The Tenors’ website, Pereira is asked what the three things he can’t live without are, he replies, “My daughter, my family, my music.” He’s also asked what his greatest achievement is, to which he replies, “Becoming a father.”