School Apologizes After Playing Roseanne Barr’s Infamous Version of National Anthem Before Game

Thanks to a national anthem mix-up at a Delaware girls’ volleyball game this week, no one came out a winner.

On Wednesday, the Seaford School District issued an apology after a parody version of the “Star-Spangled Banner” was played before a game between Seaford and Milford high schools on Tuesday. The version, sung by comedian Roseanne Barr, is acknowledged as one of the worst performances of the song ever recorded, along with Scott Stapp’s, Steven Tyler’s and Fergie’s infamous renditions.

According to the Delaware News Journal, many of the parents who were in attendance found the mix-up “disgraceful and disrespectful,” the newspaper reported, and others wondered on social media if the song was a mistake or a prank by students.

In a statement posted to their website on Wednesday, the district apologized and said they launched an investigation into why Barr’s performance was played and not the version of the national anthem the district typically uses.

“The Seaford School District has become aware that prior to Tuesday’s girls’ volleyball match between Seaford High school and Milford High School, a version of the national anthem sung by Roseanne Barr was played,” wrote district superintendent David Perrington in the statement.

“An investigation was initiated to determine why the national anthem normally played was not used. As a result of the investigation, proper responses and pre-game proceedings will be improved to support such incidents from happening again.”

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Roseanne Barr

Perrington said the district would also be issuing apology letters to the student-athletes, coaches and fans of the visiting team.

“This event is not representative of the Seaford School District or its students, and the district will take appropriate action to ensure proper response and modification of pre-game proceedings,” he added. “We apologize for this unfortunate event.”

The district did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for additional comment.

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Taking place before a San Diego Padres game in 1990, the typically graceful lyrics of the national anthem were instead shrieked and screeched by Barr, who was immediately drowned by boos from those in attendance.

“I was singing in my act at the time – and I am a good singer – I was flattered and fully intended to sing a good version of the song,” she told the Washington Post in a 2015 interview about the night.

“I started too high. I knew about six notes in that I couldn’t hit the big note,” she continued. “So I just tried to get through it, but I couldn’t hear anything with 50,000 drunk a—— booing, screaming ‘you fat [expletive],’ giving me the finger and throwing bottles at me during the song they ‘respect’ so much.”


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