Yankees cancel singer for antisemitic joke

By Jessica Elgot, October 16, 2009
Ronan Tynan

Ronan Tynan

An Irish tenor has been banned from singing ‘God Bless America’ at an important Yankees baseball game after telling an antisemitic joke.

Ronan Tynan, who was born in Kilkenny, made his name singing patriotic songs at American sports events, and sang ‘Ave Maria’ at the funeral of Ronald Reagan.

But Mr Tynan’s career took a nosedive after he made an antisemitic joke to a Jewish doctor.

Mr Tynan bumped into an estate agent showing the doctor around a apartment in his block.

The agent, Gabrielle Gold-von Simson, joked to Mr Tynan: “Don’t worry, they aren’t Red Sox fans.”

Mr Tynan replied: “I don’t care, as long as they aren’t Jews.”

When pressed, Mr Tynan said he didn’t like Jewish women because they were “scary”.

After Mr Tynan’s remarks were made public, the Yankees cancelled Mr Tynan’s performance at their game this weekend.

Mr Tynan insisted the remarks were a joke. He said: “It was stupid of me to be so callous, and I would never want to hurt anybody’s feelings.”

He added: “I’m not antisemitic and I never have been in my life. Three members of my band are Jewish and I love them like brothers.”

Last updated: 3:46pm, October 16 2009