DJ Artform, the man in the booth who pressed the button that launched a night of humiliation for the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus when their voices were replaced by that of a female anthem singer and then taunted as they were left off the field, apologized and spoke with a San Diego radio station on Monday.
The upshot? It was a rookie mistake, but one for which he had to take responsibility. Artform, a lifelong baseball fan and player, had found his “dream job” at Padres stadium, something that combined his love of music, and baseball. In an unfortunate confluence of events, his immediate boss had been in an accident and wasn’t there to supervise.
But Artform takes accountability that he pressed the button, and then stood by while it went down.
Said Artform to Scott and BR on The Mighty 1090 am:
“One of the worst nights of my life, and everybody else involved unfortunately. I failed to upload the correct anthem for the gay men’s choir and I went to the first thing I had which was from the prerecording from the night before and unfortunately obviously that was a solo female artist for the anthem and it didn’t fit to the programming of the day.
Artform says he read the label and thought the Chorus file was for another date. What they play are sometimes CDs, sometimes sound files.
“In a moment of panic I went to the first thing I saw that said anthem and unfortunately the female vocal artist is what played over the PA system and it was an extremely embarrassing moment…Those are my mistakes and I own up to them. I hold myself accountable.//My stomach was in knots. I should have intervened. I should have turned it down. There’s a lot of ‘coulda woulda shouldas ‘that we could have done to avoid the incident…my heart was racing. Every second was an hour.”
Artform was brought into an office at the end of the game on Sunday and fired after the incident made national headlines, but he says he totally gets why the incident was perceived the way it was – and a hate crime investigation was launched.
“There’s a lot of twists and turns on how this thing got perceived and I understand completely about the issues that have been underlying the LGBT community and the gay men’s choir so this is something that I don’t take lightly. I spoke to the director earlier this morning and I gave him my personal apology. I’m doing things on my side to be as constructive and proactive with this whole ordeal and dilemma….All I can do at this point is show who I am as a man and as an individual and as a DJ and own up to my mistake and let everybody know there was no mal intent or discriminatory actions toward anyone that night….I have family members and friends that are part of the community.”
— Kaplan and Crew (@KaplanandCrew) May 24, 2016
My deepest apologies and sincere regret toward the entire San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus & the LGBT community for the incident that occurred during the National Anthem. It was a very unfortunate mistake but it was just that, an error. I in no way, shape or form directed any type of hate, bad intent or discrimination towards the Chorus or anyone involved.
The incident was not a representation of myself, San Diego & it’s amazing Baseball fans.
I have felt the consequences of my mistake as my dream job has dissolved before my eyes which does not take away that I am extremely sorry for the horrible mistake that occurred. I have family members & friends that are a part of the LGBT community & I have always been a supporter of Equal Human Rights, so it pains me greatly to see that I am being accused of acting intentionally.
As a former high school and college baseball player, I understand the importance of ensuring equality for all in sports and am appalled by some of the negative, homophobic comments made by fans related to the National Anthem incident. I have reached out to LGBT leaders in San Diego and am currently in discussion regarding a meeting with the Chorus and LGBT leaders personally in order to be as constructive as possible about the error. I’ve let down my City, my family & everyone who had faith in me.
Once again, I’m truly sorry for this entire ordeal.