Conan Gray performed the National Anthem at the Home Run Derby on Monday, July 18. This years Major League Baseball All-Star festivities are held at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Fans took to social media to blast the Gray performance. See if for yourself on Twitter.
The critics brought Fergie into the debate. The former Black Eyed Peas singer was mentioned so much alongside Gray that she trended on Twitter. Her own performance was at the 2018 NBA All-Star Game.
But other viewers were supportive. People said that the performance was just fine and that the comparison were harsh.
Fergie, whose real name is Stacy Ferguson, performed a slower, jazzy rendition of the National Anthem in 2018. She received so much backlash for her rendition that she later offered an apology.
“I’ve always been honored and proud to perform the National Anthem, and last night I wanted to try something special for the NBA,” she said. “I’m a risk taker artistically, but clearly this rendition didn’t strike the intended tone. I love this country and honestly tried my best.”
Conan Gray did a straightforward version of the National Anthem at the Home Run Derby. He didn’t particularly take any chances. He wasn’t particularly off-key. Taking chances like Fergie’s on the National Anthem almost always faces criticism in the age of social media. Was Gray’s performance bad enough to warrant an apology? He hasn’t said anything about the reaction yet. Nor has Fergie commented on being dragged back into it.
What’s your verdict?
National Anthems at Sporting Events
Critiquing the National Anthem at sporting events has become one of America’s greatest pastimes. A particularly good version was performed at this year’s NBA Finals. That was courtesy of Retired Navy petty officer Generald Wilson.
The tradition has continued for years throughout all of sports. It’s happening somewhere in the United State every day. So when a particularly bad or a particularly good version is performed, fans love to weigh in from their couch.
Macy Gray gave it a shot at the NBA All-Star Game this year. Her version got strong reactions from some of the game’s top players, including Lebron James and Steph Curry. Fans brought Fergie into the conversation during that performance, too. It seems that her rendition is the most recent litmus test for how bad a National Anthem can be.
Carly Pearce gave it a go during the World Series last year. The Atlanta Braves were the World Series Champions, and Pearce delivered a solid rendition to the home crowd. Pearce compared the honor to performing at the Grand Ole Opry. She said that both were, “One of those things you don’t dare dream – and almost can’t believe when it’s actually happening.”