Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Ronan Tynan not anti-semitic but hero to many

I have never discussed politics or religion on this blog and have hesitated in saying anything about the recent incident involving Ronan Tynan. But I also believe in standing up for what you believe in and am personally heartbroken at this turn of events. The media is trashing Ronan, people are tearing him apart on Twitter and blogs and I'd like to take a moment to give my take on the situation.

For those of you who are not familiar with what happened, Ronan Tynan has been accused of making an anti-Semitic remark and the New York Yankees have fired him from singing God Bless America at their games, which he has been doing for the last seven years. The media reported that he made a comment to a real estate agent who was showing an apartment in the building where he lives. The real estate agent said to Ronan something to the effect of "Don't worry, I won't rent it to a Red Sox fan" and the media incorrectly quoted Ronan as saying "I don't care about that as long as they aren't Jewish".

The truth of the matter has been correctly reported in the Irish Times. Three weeks prior to this incident, another real estate agent was showing the apartment to a couple of Jewish women and told Ronan that they were "particular". Ronan said that might be "scary" because he tends to practice singing in his apartment and can be quite loud and they might not like that. When Ronan ran into the second real estate agent the other day, he was thinking of that incident and actually said "At least they're not the Jewish ladies", referring back to the two women who might not have appreciated his loud singing.

It was a chance remark made in the hall of his apartment and has been completely blown out of proportion. Ronan has since apologized to the tenant who was looking at the apartment and she has accepted his apology. He has apologized to all those people this has upset and offended. However, the Yankees jumped the gun and fired him and the media took off with it. Now many people think Ronan is anti-Semitic.

I have met Ronan on numerous occasions and know friends of his and have closely followed his career since 1998. What I have seen of the man is a loving, caring, generous man. You meet the guy and his arms immediately go out to you for a huge hug. When you talk to him, he holds your hands, looks you directly in the eyes and gives you his undivided attention.

Ronan is a true inspiration to many. He had both legs amputated when he was very young. Most people would be sitting in a wheelchair feeling sorry for themselves. But not Ronan. He went on to become a medical doctor and then a renown singer who has sung for presidents. Immediately following 911, when New York was in a turmoil, Ronan was there, right at Ground Zero, despite the hazardous fumes, handing out food to the rescue crews and firemen and singing to give them encouragement. He sang at many of the memorial services following 911 and gave courage to all who heard him. Ronan is also known for his motivational speeches where he urges people to strive for their dreams and not to let any disability or disadvantage hold them back. Are these the acts of a bigot?

To have this man torn apart because of a chance comment which has been taken out of context is a real sin. He was so proud of being the Yankees' tenor. He's a good man who must be horribly crushed by things that are being said about him. He has worked so hard and done so well in his life and now his career is being harmed by the media. He's a man who knows what pain is and knows what it is to be ridiculed and discriminated against because of his own handicap. All I ask is that, before jumping to conclusions about Ronan, please read all of the facts. He's a man to respect and admire.

Thanks for your time.


Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you. I met him twice and he was very nice and sincere. I think those who would like to see the Yankee's reconsider hiring him should send the Yankee management a twitter and hopefully after they realize they did jump the gun, they will reinstate his position. He deserves to remain as the Yankee's singer as he's been a dedicated New Yorker and loves this country.

Marjorie said...

Thank you for your comment. There's also a contact form on the Yankees' website if anyone would like to write to them about reinstating Ronan.


Elizabeth said...

OMG, how sad. Can no one have a conversation anymore? This will pass, I hope. What a bunch of jerks at the Yankees, like ballplayers are such pillars of virtue! Ronan didn't even do anything. Yikes!

Marjorie said...

Thank you for your comment, Elizabeth. Hopefully, the Yankees will reconsider. Meanwhile, I've heard that other teams are interested in Ronan singing at their games so I'm sure he'll move on and do well.