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Canucks fire anthem singer Mark Donnelly for performing at anti-mask rally

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Canucks fire anthem singer Mark Donnelly for performing at anti-mask rally 1

The Vancouver Canucks fired their longtime national anthem singer Mark Donnelly after learning he would be singing at a rally organized by coronavirus deniers and anti-mask advocates.

Shortly after the Vancouver Sun reported that Donnelly had agreed to perform at an event called the Christmas Freedom Rally in Vancouver on Saturday, where hundreds planned to gather and protest COVID-19 restrictions, Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini tweeted at the newspaper to request they change their headline to “former Canucks anthem singer.” Aquilini also wrote “#wearamask.”

A Canucks spokesperson confirmed the dismissal to CBC, writing, “You are safe to say his days are over.”

According to the Canadian Press, Donnelly told the crowd that he still decided to sing Saturday because he questions the “draconian lockdown protocols.” He described his firing from the institution he’s been publicly associated with since 2001 as “censorship.”

Donnelly said he hadn’t heard directly from Aquilini or the Canucks and that he thought a phone call to hear him out would’ve been a more respectful way to terminate the partnership.

The 60-year-old Vancouver native has been a staple at Canucks home games for 19 years. However, this isn’t the first time his political views have stirred up controversy. In 2012, Donnelly sang the national anthem for an anti-abortion caravan as it passed through Vancouver.

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