Stadium singer apologizes for anti-Semitic remark

BY foxsports • October 18, 2009

Irish tenor Ronan Tynan says he's sorry for making an anti-Semitic remark, and hopes for another chance to sing his noted rendition of "God Bless America" at Yankee Stadium. "This is my mea culpa," he told The Associated Press before Saturday night's playoff game between the Los Angeles Angels and New York Yankees. A day after the Yankees dropped their long-standing tradition of having him perform the song during the seventh-inning stretch of postseason games, Tynan said he'd apologized to the woman who was the subject of his remark. Tynan also said he had made a charitable contribution to an organization of her choice. "Several days ago I made a joke that was insensitive. My attempt at humor was inappropriate and hurtful to the person who heard it," Tynan read over the telephone in a statement to the AP. "I apologized to the person who was rightfully offended and I am so grateful my sincere apology was accepted." Prior to Game 2 of the AL championship series, Tynan said he would like an opportunity to again perform "God Bless America" at the ballpark. He also said he would continue rooting for the Yankees. "I wish the Yankees every success. ... I just hope they rock," he said. On Friday, during the ALCS opener, Yankees spokeswoman Alice McGillion said: "There are no plans for him to sing." McGillion said Friday a woman sent an e-mail to a team official this week claiming Tynan made the remark while the woman was being shown an apartment in the building where he lives. The real estate agent reportedly said to Tynan, "They are not Red Sox fans." He responded: "As long as they're not Jewish." In an e-mail to the AP, Tynan said he'd previously spoken to the real estate agent about two Jewish women who had looked at the apartment and "how scary for them it would be for living next to me with my music and singing." Tynan confirmed his remark to the team official but said he was joking, McGillion said, and the Yankees severed ties with him. Tynan said Saturday the woman, Gabrielle Gold-von Simson, a doctor at New York University, accepted his apology and that he made a contribution to the charity, KiDs of NYU. Calls by the AP to Gold-von Simson and McGillion were not immediately returned. Gold-von Simson's Facebook page says KiDs of NYU is an organization that supports children's health services at New York University Langone Medical Center. The page also says she is a New York Mets fan. In addition to a donation, Tynan said in his statement, "I have offered that if they put on a concert, I will give my services free." Tynan is noted for mellifluous renditions of "God Bless America." He sang at President Ronald Reagan's funeral in 2004. A woman sang in Tynan's place Saturday night. Getting ready to watch the Yankees play the Angels in Game 2, Tynan said he was disappointed in himself. "The most important thing I learned from this is never to be flippant or insensitive," Tynan said.