'Proud of what happened': Qatari scholar on detention of US journalist for wearing rainbow t-shirt

  • A US sports journalist was stopped from entering a stadium in Qatar
  • He claimed he was stopped as he was wearing a rainbow t-shirt 
  • A Qatari academic called him out, saying he was 'proud of what happened'

22 Nov 2022

An American sports journalist who is in Qatar to cover the World Cup claimed he was briefly detained by security after wearing a rainbow T-shirt to the USA's World Cup opener against Wales on Tuesday. Journalist Grant Wahl's tweet caused an uproar on social media, with many supporting him while others, mostly Qatari nationals, taught him to respect the "culture of the region". 

Dr Nayef bin Nahar, an outspoken Qatari academic, said, "As a Qatari I’m proud of what happened. I don’t know when will the westerners realize that their values aren’t universal. There are other cultures with different values that should be equally respected. Let’s not forget that the West is not the spokesperson for humanity."

Grant Wahl had previously tweeted that he had been prevented from entering the stadium for the USA-Wales game. "Right now: Security refuses to let me into the stadium for USA-Wales. "You need to change your shirt. It's not allowed," he tweeted. 

He was later detained when he tried to enter the stadium wearing a rainbow shirt in support of the LGBTQIA+ community in a country where same-sex relationships are illegal. Grant claimed his phone was taken when he tweeted about the incident. He was then detained for 25 minutes and asked to remove his shirt. Earlier, seven European nations abandoned plans for their respective captains to wear "OneLove" armbands after FIFA threatened to issue yellow cards to any player wearing the multi-coloured armband, which was introduced to promote diversity and inclusion.

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