Ronan Tynan To Sing Song of Apology to ADL

Following Jewish joke flap, tenor will sing at Anti-Defamation League dinner

By Jennifer Millman
|  Thursday, Oct 29, 2009  |  Updated 12:15 PM EDT
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Ronan Tynan To Sing Song of Apology to ADL

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Ronan Tynan, whose anti-Semitic comment caused an uproar earlier this month, is getting another shot with the Anti-Defamation League.

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Ronan Tynan, the acclaimed Irish tenor who caused an uproar after making an anti-Semitic comment earlier this month, will perform at the opening dinner of the Anti-Defamation League's annual meeting tonight in the city. 

Normally a fixture at Yankees postseason games, the singer was conspicuously absent from last night's seventh-inning stretch at the World Series game. In the earlier rounds of the playoffs, the Yankees admitted they gave him a furlough because of the remark he made while a woman was being shown an apartment in the building where he lives.

At the time, the real estate agent reportedly said to Tynan of the prospective customers, "They are not Red Sox fans.'' He responded: "As long as they're not Jewish.''

Tynan profusely apologized the day after he made the comment, and did so again in a recent meeting with ADL leaders. The ADL leaders said in a statement that "in talking with Dr. Tynan and hearing his life story, it was clear that he is a good man who understood that he had made an inappropriate comment that was hurtful not only to the person who heard it but to the community."

A day after the Yankees told him he wasn't going to perform in the playoff game, the tenor said he personally apologized to the woman hurt by his comment and made a charitable donation to the organization of her choice.

The embattled singer continued with his "mea culpa" after his meeting with the ADL and thanked the leaders for giving him a chance to talk the issue through.

"I understand totally the insensitivity of my remarks," Tynan said in a statement. "I do understand from my own life how hurtful and wrong prejudice is.” 

Tynan was born with a lower leg deficiency and has had both of his legs amputated below the knee.

Tynan has performed at many charitable events, particularly after 9/11, and for the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

While he didn't get the chance to sing "God Bless America" when the Yankees played the Los Angeles Angels, Tynan will have the opportunity to perform his renowned rendition of the song at the ADL's dinner, which is focusing on the organization's educational and anti-bias programs. The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world’s leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.

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