SHAWINIGAN, Que. - The national anthem singer at the opening game of the MasterCard Memorial Cup has been let go by tournament organizers after flashing a political message on his sweater after his performance.
At the end of the anthem before the Edmonton Oil Kings' 4-3 win over the host Shawinigan Cataractes on Friday night, pop music singer Jean-Francois Bastien opened his jacket to reveal the words "Sorry Kyoto" and "Harper" on his sweater.
Photi Sotiropoulos, spokesman for the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, said Saturday that organizers decided to remove Bastien from any further events.
The Shawinigan native had been scheduled to perform Sunday night at Fan Fest, a large tent in the centre of the city set up for fans to watch games and party.
"We thanked him for his services and he will no longer be part of the event," said Sotiropoulos. "The Memorial Cup is an apolitical event."
He said Bastien's message appeared for only a second or two on national television
Cup organizers issued a statement that said the trophy was donated in 1919 "to honour Canada's war fallen" and was intended "to celebrate our great game and to remember the supreme sacrifice made by our men and women in conflict.
"At no time, should the MasterCard Memorial Cup be used for any other purpose, political or otherwise."