Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Man’s shirt deemed offensive

From: The Kingston Whig-Standard

When Terry Cloutier bought tickets for a Toronto Blue Jays game on June 9, he had no idea he’d be turned away for his T-shirt.

Cloutier, who attended the game in Toronto with his grandson, was refused entry into the Rogers Centre gate, some distance away from where he bought the tickets.

“They refused my admission because of the T-shirt I was wearing,” he said.

The T-shirt sported an illustration of the grim reaper and the words “Sons of Anarchy,” from a popular television series about an outlaw motorcycle club.

Cloutier said he was told that the shirt promoted violence, which was against the Rogers Centre’s family values.

“The thing is, the guy who sold me the tickets should have told me beforehand,” he said.

Cloutier bought a new T-shirt to replace his own, which he said he wouldn’t have worn if he knew it would prevent admission.

“I had my grandson with me who I wouldn’t want to disappoint,” he said.

Cloutier said he didn’t understand how the T-shirt went against “family values,” considering what else can happen at a sports game.

“One (security guard) escorted me to the table to make sure I bought a T-shirt,” he said. “We get in there, and we hear profanity all over the place. Security just stands there and listens to it, but they judge me for my T-shirt.”

As of Friday afternoon, Cloutier, who had sent the Rogers Centre a message regarding the incident, received an apology from the venue.

When asked to comment, Mario Coutinho, the vice-president of stadium operations and security for Rogers Centre and Blue Jays, cited policy on gang colours and gang paraphernalia.

“The employee working that gate mistook that T-shirt for gang paraphernalia,” he said. “That was an error on the employee’s part.”

Cloutier said he’d still make the trip to Toronto for a game.

“Yeah, I’ll go back to the Jays game,” he said. “I just won’t wear this shirt.”

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