CALGARY (CityNews) – Sporting events are about making a statement but the one made by Alberta’s premier on Grey Cup Sunday is causing a stir.
Just before the opening coin toss, Premier Jason Kenney was on the field at McMahon Stadium sporting an “I Love Canadian Oil and Gas” hoodie to cheers and boos from the crowd.
According to branding expert Tony Chapman, the premier was sending a pointed message.
“Is he taking advantage of a sporting event and national cameras? Without question. He wore it, literally, on his sleeve, that’s what he went front and centre with. It’s almost what Trump did with Make America Great Again.”
After the coin toss, social media was buzzing with several users condemning Kenney while others applauded him for standing up for oil and gas.
Yes Kenney knew exactly what he was doing as did Trudeau in his Blackface performances, funny how one bothers you & the other doesn't?
The Alberta premier knows exactly what he's doing with his #GreyCup attire https://t.co/aHgJqjSR3q #cdnpoli
— Rex Glacer (@rexglacer) November 25, 2019
Mr Kenney, by wearing that hoody it appears you are making a political statement which runs counter to the statement above. The #GreyCup is a Canadian tradition where politics should be absent and only team rivalries present.
— jentalee (@jmdominato_bird) November 25, 2019
Dirty political stunt by Jason Kenney at the #GreyCup coin toss. No class whatsoever.
— Jeff Sargeant (@jeffthesarge) November 24, 2019
“The hoodie was a complete contrast to our prime minister,” said Chapman. “He knew he was going to be polarizing. His intention was, first and foremost, to signal to the people he elected, ‘I’m not backing down’ and two, to cast a net across Canada saying, ‘Are you with me?'”
It’s not the first time this year a premier has been criticized at a major sporting event.
Meanwhile, Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister also made a statement in his wardrobe choice Sunday, wearing a Blue Bombers jersey to cheer on his team.
Winnipeg won the 107th Grey Cup beating Hamilton 33-12 in Calgary.