Category: Archive

Tynan’s anguish

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

The Irish tenor, renowned for his stirring performances of “God Bless America” at Yankee Stadium, was benched by the club after the singer was accused of making an anti-Semitic remark, an accusation that he has vehemently denied.
That denial is being taken seriously this week by an organization that knows all about anti-Semitism.
And the Anti-Defamation League has extended the hand of friendship to Tynan who has felt so sick of heart this past week that he was contemplating flying back to Ireland.
The league, according to Tynan, has asked him to sing at its annual dinner this Thursday night at the Waldorf Astoria in Manhattan.
Tynan has accepted and, as he has done on countless occasions since 9/11, he will be performing gratis.
Whether the league’s embrace will pave the way back to Yankee Stadium was unclear at presstime but it was a powerful signal that many in New York and beyond do not believe that Tynan deserves the kind of punishment or opprobrium that has been heaped upon him in recent days.
Tynan, according to multiple news reports, offended an apartment viewer with a reference to “scary” Jewish ladies at the Manhattan building apartment he calls home.
It was reference to two women who had viewed a next door apartment several weeks ago. The realtor had referred to them as being very particular and Tynan had fretted at the time that he might disturb them because he sang and played music in his apartment.
His reference to the ladies followed a joke by the realtor about the possibility of Red Sox fans moving into the neighboring apartment.
A client of the realtor, like Tynan a doctor, reported the “Jewish” remark to the Yankees.
“There is not an anti-Semitic bone in my body. I wasn’t reared like that. I want people to know that I have been overwhelmed by all this,” Dubliner Tynan told the Echo.
He said he had made a joking reference to the two ladies but that his accuser had not indicated such a degree of anger on the spot that would have prompted an apology sufficient enough to put the matter to rest.
Tynan said that he had apologized when the offended client had indicated unhappiness with his words.
“I apologized to her, but she said nothing else to me,” he said.
He said he was shocked when the matter was subsequently reported to the Yankees.
“I am a religious man. I have prayed over this. I have cried over this. If anyone knows about discrimination I do,” said Tynan, who has battled physical disability after losing both his legs as a child.
In addition to his sudden absence from Yankee Stadium, Tynan had to cancel a major appearance in Las Vegas.
He said that he felt that the episode had been blown way out of proportion. He added that, at first, he had felt like he needed to leave New York.
But was now determined to stay in the city he has called home for ten year and clear his name.
Tynan, who has many Jewish friends, also has three Jewish musicians in his band.
Tynan said that he was happy with the opportunity to sing at Thursday night’s dinner.
“The truth eventually wins,” he said.

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