Canucks fire anthem singer after planning to attend anti-mask rally

Arun Srinivasan
·1 min read
VANCOUVER, BC - OCTOBER 15: Mark Donnelly sings the national anthems prior to the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL game in Rogers Arena on October 15, 2016 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Ben Nelms/Getty Images)
The Vancouver Canucks fired anthem singer Mark Donnelly for his plan to sing the national anthem at an anti-mask rally. (Ben Nelms/Getty Images)

Getting fired on your day off is about as embarrassing as it gets, but for Mark Donnelly, it was richly deserved.

Donnelly previously served as the anthem singer for the Vancouver Canucks. That was until Donnelly confirmed that he would be attending and singing ‘O Canada’ at the B.C. Christmas Freedom Rally 2020, an event where people are protesting the stay-at-home mandate, and the mandate to wear masks.

“I sing ‘O Canada’ as a sign of unity and strength for all Canadians,” Donnelly said via Harrison Mooney of the Vancouver Sun. “The true north strong and free.”

Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini wasn’t having any of it. Upon seeing the initial story reported by the Vancouver Sun, Aquilini appeared to fire Donnelly immediately.

“Mark Donnelly is acting independently and we hope the public understands he is not representing the Vancouver Canucks,” Canucks COO Trent Carroll said Friday. “We encourage everyone to wear a mask and to follow the provincial health orders.”

Donnelly started as the Canucks’ anthem singer in 2001. Prior to his firing, Donnelly was perhaps best known for tripping and falling on the ice during the October 2014 opening game for the Penticton Vees of the British Columbia Hockey League.

At the time of this filing, Donnelly still intends on attending the anti-mask rally.

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