Wow. That is a HUGE difference in our local cultures.
I do not know if you ever saw this, but I have plenty of times. That blank look of people that know that someone will have to get sent home. They all want to play and are excited to, but they do not want to be the jerk to exclude someone else. So they sit silent and continue setting up the game as if they were playing so they do not get sent home. Now often this gets broken by someone offering to sit out, break up tables, but sometimes someones believes someone has to go and becomes exclusive so they can keep the game they wanted to play. Maybe you are the hero enough to prevent that(evil only exists where good people do nothing). I can be a touch too aggressive against the people that suggestion exclusion.
I am not saying my area is mean and exclusive, but something different. I want to say lazy, unsympathetic, or whatever I am not sure the exact word. Ignorant of others I guess.
When I read Bear gray post it screams that bear gray had a similar situation. That everyone was playing go ready play and started leaving Bear gray out.
Bear obviously did not understand why they did not get to play. That is definitely an issue. There is no speculating that. No one sent home should be left wondering why they did not get to play. I know a local VO will/has spoken with him. This is an opportunity to make up for a misunderstanding and build a great friendship.