Carlos Santana apologizes for anti-trans comments he made during concert that no one asked him for

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"Carlos" Premiere - 2023 Tribeca Festival
Carlos Santana attends the "Carlos" Premiere during the 2023 Tribeca Film Festival at Beacon Theatre on June 17, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tribeca Festival)

Carlos Santana has apologized for transphobic, “insensitive comments” he made onstage at a recent show.

In a clip posted to YouTube on Aug. 19, as his band plays in the background, Santana says onstage: “When God made you and me, before we came out of the womb, you know who you are and what you are … Later on, when you grow out of it, you see things, and you start believing that you could be something that it sounds good, but you know it ain't right.”

Santana went on to make harmful comments about gender identity. “Because a woman is a woman and a man is a man,” he said. “Whatever you wanna do in the closet, that's your business. I'm OK with that.”

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA – JANUARY 25: Carlos Santana performs onstage during the Pre-GRAMMY Gala and GRAMMY Salute to Industry Icons Honoring Sean “Diddy” Combs on January 25, 2020 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

The one-minute clip ends with Santana indicating he aligns with comedian Dave Chappelle, who has received backlash for comments he's made about the transgender community, including in his Netflix standup special “The Closer.”

“I am like this with my brother Dave Chappelle,” he says, making what seems to be an X with his hands.

YouTube video

After the clip made rounds on social media, the 76-year-old guitarist issued an apology on his official Facebook account on Thursday.

“I am sorry for my insensitive comments,” he began. “They don't reflect that I want to honor and respect all person's ideals and beliefs. I realize that what I said hurt people and that was not my intent. I sincerely apologize to the transgender community and everyone I offended.”

“I want to honor and respect all person’s ideals and beliefs whether they are LGBTQ or not. This is the planet of free will and we have all been given this gift,” his Facebook post continued.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MAY 14: Recording artist Carlos Santana speaks during a listening event for his upcoming album “Africa Speaks” featuring singer Buika at the House of Blues Las Vegas inside Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on May 14, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

“It takes courage to grow and glow in the light that you are and to be true, genuine, and authentic. We grow and learn to shine our light with Love and compliments. Have a glorious existence. Peace.”

Santana recently wrapped his 17-date 1001 Rainbows Tour. Next, he has 16 shows at the House of Blues Las Vegas scheduled from September through November.


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