Rogers Centre Censorship

Here is an email that I sent to a newspaper explaining how Rogers Centre infringes on our freedom.

[i]Dear Mr. *************

Our anti-NFL protest was a huge success, with about 40 people turning up and lots of media coverage.

However, it saddened me, as unsurprising as it was, that we were not allowed on to Blue Jays Way, Bremner Street, or anywhere near the Rogers Centre. As soon as we got close, the cops would tell us to get lost or risk arrest. This despite a complete lack of physical or verbal aggression towards anyone around us. We also had a permit which allowed us to protest on the grounds but when we showed the police they replied with a laugh and said, "Well, I'm guessing Ted Rogers' permit cost a little but more than yours did."

Another group of protesters, separate from us were protesting the low wages of concession workers at the dome ($9.25 an hour) were on the verge of arrest 3 times simply from handing out fliers to passers by. Each time, they fleed to avoid arrest.

The next day at the Argos game a friend of mine was wearing an Anti-Bills t-shirt. Within seconds of entering the Rogers Centre concourse, he was surrounded by security ordering him to remove the shirt or risk expulsion and/or arrest. The shirt had nothing offensive on it, simply a buffalo bills logo with a cross through it, similar to an anti-smoking sign.

Later I found out that before the game, one of the men leading the Anti-NFL in Toronto movement, Sterling Halliday, was also nearly arrested. He told me that before the game he was surrounded by cops telling him to remove his shirt and that he would certainly be arrested if he was seen distributing an anti-Bills shirt to anyone else. This is not the first time Sterling has encountered issues at Argos' home games, despite being a season ticket holder. Last game, he was not allowed on stadium property with his t-shirt.. Sterling has a permit from top Argos' executives that legally allow him to sell the shirts at Argos' home games. Mr. Halliday only escaped certain arrest by calling Pinball Clemons himself and having him speak to security.

It seems to be Rogers Centre policy to suppress any message that goes against them or suggests anything they are doing might be bad. In fact, the Anti-Bills shirt have gone from being a common sight in the first couple games (despite being new) to extremely rare, because anyone who wears them risks expulsion or arrest by Rogers Centre security and police.

I just wished to inform you of this very undemocratic practice that is going on at Rogers Centre, and I hope that you help encourage them to stop this habit of censorship by writing about it in an upcoming paper. As I, and many others see it, it goes against the fundamental principles of democracy and freedom of expression.

Wow, all those officers, and security, and Rogers themselves should be sent to court for violating the Rights and Freedoms Act of 1982, this man clearly did nothing wrong, and they were at CFL games.

Rogers is a coward, and I am sorry to say this but Toronto sports will be much better off when he is 6 feet under.

That is darn right scarry.... You guys should contact McNown if he has the balls to put you on his show.... I know he hates Ted... I kow for a fact that Dave Pratt would put you on his show here in Vancouver He despises Ted.

this by the way relating to another topic on this forum proves police corruption, and how they're willing to waive the Canadian Rights and Freedoms Act of 1982, even on top of the fact you had a permit which you shouldn't need to protest under those laws, for money.

The whole country should be scared about somethign like this.

I dont believe it has anything to do with rights and freedoms.....Its Rogers' property, his rules.

I just received word that somebody else at the Argos game with a Pro-CFL, anti-NFL sign was forced to hand it to security so it could be destroyed or face expulsion.

Like I said Rogers' property. Rogers' rules

Is the Rogers Centre publicly or privately owned? Obviously Rogers has the naming rights, but how far does that extend?

I would consult a lawyer if the place is in fact a public facility. This sounds like something that may be ripe for a law suit, which could also include any Police that illegally prevented you from expressing yourself.

If, however, it is private facility, you probably can't do anything, even though they should have warned people far and wide through the media that there is a strict dress code in effect.

I believe it is privately owned by Rogers

This is democracy?
Inside his dome may be one thing, but outside on a public street.
Is there a more hated man or a vile person then Ted Rogers. Not just because of his anti CFL and pro Bills nonsense, years ago here in the city there was the (in)famous negative billing on the cable rates which ultimately caused a nation wide uproar.
Then the Rogers cell nonsense with the other controlled monopoly corporates of Bell etc.
A few months back when he was at the head table to announce the games, he actually said and made fun of us taxpayers for basically screwing us in buying the dome for $25M when it was built for a whopping $600M and not caring about affordable tickets to the game.
Well Ted what goes around comes around, I hope he takes a bath in this, just like the first reported game and loss of$4M-$5M.
What a complete idiot.

Quite simply, yes. There are many, many, many, many more vile people than Ted Rogers.

Contact the news media. Both CTV and CBC, but not city TV as he owns it. Radio stations also. Have a group of t-shirts worn besied the building and then inside. News media would love to make a big deal out of any arrests for waring an xed out bills or NFL jersey. The man would have egg on his face right accross the country if you were arrested and what better wittnesses than the news media. Then charge him, his company,the security gruop involved and whomever else that could be libel under the Act you stated above.

The Hitler comparison is too extreme. He's more like a robber baron than a maniacal mass murderer.

He has the right to control the information within his fiefdom, but not outside of it. If he purchased police security for the area surrounding the Rogers Castle and then illegally instructed them to deny even properly permitted protests and/or freedom of expression in the form of T-shirts, placards and leaflets, then there may be cause for a lawsuit there. I would definitely talk to a lawyer and find out exactly what rights are involved.


This article will be translated in French.

Can you tell me more about this anti NFL movement? For exemple; how it began? The members are they only Canadians?

Email the P.M. about this _ pm@PM.GC.CA

It comes down to power and connections. Rogers has them, you don't. He makes the rules.

Canadian police forces will have no problem with infringing on your personal freedoms as long as it means enforcing the laws and keeping the our police have the tacit approval of the majority of Canadians to use any force necessary, even abusing your rights or person, in order to maintain peace and order.

canada is a messed up country, people cant protest about football, yet they allow people to protest and smoke pot at queens park because they want pot legalized.

-homosexuals are allowed to parade in the streets and flaunt themselves.

-you have tibet protesters everyday, and many of these people cant find tibet on a map, the only reason they protest is to self-promote themselves and become youtube superstars.

but walking around with an anti-bills t-shirt is so dangerous, the police in this city are a joke, why dont they focus more on the politicians and school trustees that are always scamming the public and going on free vacations every 2 months.

Next time you wear an anti-Bills shirt to an Argos game, bring a friend with a camcorder to record how you are treated. Put it up on youtube... a picture is worth a thousand words.