Removed from public sports game for wearing a provocative shirt


A Canadian man was asked to leave a Thursday night Toronto Raptors Basketball game because he was wearing a sweatshirt calling for the release of Hamas’s hostages, he claimed on social media.

Toronto Attorney Gary Grill said on Linkedin that he had worn a sweatshirt declaring “free our hostages” with a white Star of David to the Scotiabank Arena.

The assistant head of security of the arena reportedly told Grill to take off the shirt or leave and that Scotiabank Arena and Raptors owners Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Partnership “doesn’t want to take sides.”

Scotiabank’s opinion on the Israeli hostages

“I think freeing the hostages is something that all right-minded people can get behind,” Grill wrote on Linkedin. “All people of conscience, especially Palestinians, must demand the release of the hostages being held in their name by Hamas.”

He said that no one had complained about the shirt and that it had only been the security guard that took issue.

Israelis gather in Tel Aviv for the release of Gaza hostages on November 25, 2023 (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)

Grill wrote that he chose to leave rather than remove the shirt but said that he believed it was discriminatory conduct.

Attorney Leora Shemesh, a friend of Grill’s who attended the basketball game with him, said that she was “not sure how it is political to ask to free babies and children, but apparently the MLSE thinks it way too political.”

Shemesh also noted on social media that NBA players had worn Black Lives Matter shirts, which was political messaging.

US attorney and legal analyst Ronald Richards said that Grill was taking legal action.

Scotiabank Arena did not immediately respond to requests for comment.


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