Watch National Anthem Singer Change Lyrics to “Blue Glare” at Major League Baseball Game

“The Star-Spangled Banner” is one of the first songs most U.S. children learn. Francis Scott Key wrote what would become the national anthem of the United States after witnessing the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812. Key, a quartermaster in the Georgetown Artillery,  watched British ships conduct a 25-hour bombardment of Fort McHenry in Maryland. The next morning, the 15-star, 15-stripe flag still flew over despite the carnage. Over two centuries later, “The Star-Spangled Banner” is a staple before all major sporting events. We’ve seen some incredible renditions, and we’ve also seen well-established musicians completely botch the lyrics. Recently, the political activist MAN-E had social media buzzing after he changed just one word during his performance at an MLB game.

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Social Media Up In Arms After National Anthem Singer’s Amendment

Man-E, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is an advocate for causes like criminal justice reform. The political activist took centerfield Tuesday (June 18) at PNC Park to perform the national anthem before the Pittsburgh Pirates faced the Cincinnati Reds.

[RELATED: Justin Moore Pauses Country Fest Performance to Break Out the National Anthem as Fans Start “USA” Chant]

Man-E sang the correct lyrics until he reached the line and the rocket’s red glare. That’s when he deviated from Francis Scott Key’s words by changing “red” to “blue.”

Pittsburgh radio personality Colin Dunlap seemed to interpret this change as an intentional political statement. 2024 is a presidential election year, and the colors red and blue hold an important place in U.S. politics. “Red” typically represents the Republican Party, with “blue” referring to Democrats.

Several X/Twitter users agreed with Dunlap. “Every American knows the national anthem, it’s what we’re taught from the beginning of our lives,” one wrote. “This ain’t a mistake. You don’t confuse red and blue when the words are on the screen and in your ear.”

However, others weren’t entirely convinced the switch was deliberate. “I was there. It was obvious,” one X/Twitter user wrote. “But if you’ve never sung in front of thousands of people, I’d sit this one out. It wasn’t like he was Carl Lewis.”

Remember Carl Lewis’ Disastrous Rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner?”

In Carl Lewis’ defense, he isn’t a singer. He is one of the most decorated U.S. Olympians in history, dominating the 100m, 200m, Long Jump, and 4×100, relay at the 1984 Los Angeles Games. But on Jan. 21, 1993, Lewis sang the national anthem before the Chicago Bulls faced off against the New Jersey Nets.

ESPN’s Charley Steiner declared the performance “Francis Scott Off-Key.” Michael Jordan kept a straight face, but many of his teammates failed to do the same.

Featured photo by Kent Nishimura/Getty Images

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