Journalist Says Qatar Stopped Him Over His Rainbow Shirt

Grant Wahl was told before US-Wales match it was for his own protection
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 21, 2022 6:55 PM CST
Journalist Says Qatar Stopped Him Over His Rainbow Shirt
England's Harry Kane, center, wears a rainbow armband, in a match in Italy in September.   (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni, File)

A CBS Sports writer said security employees in Qatar detained him Monday when he wore a rainbow shirt to the US-Wales World Cup match. A security guard told him the shirt was prohibited, said Grant Wahl, who wore it in a display of support for LGBTQ+ people, the Guardian reports. Homosexuality is illegal in the World Cup's host country. Wahl, an American, said he was told the shirt was political, asked to take it off, and asked if he's from the UK; England's team was one of several told their captains would be punished if they wore, as planned, rainbow-themed armbands in their matches.

After Wahl was held for 25 minutes, and his phone was grabbed from him, a commander apologized and told him he could go into the stadium. "One of the security guards told me they were just trying to protect me from fans inside who could harm me for wearing the shirt," Wahl wrote in a Substack column. A police officer told Kevin Baxter, a Los Angeles Times reporter, at the US men's training site in Qatar on Saturday that a rainbow-colored mask was prohibited, per Yahoo Sports. Wahl later wrote that he was left wondering: "What's it like for ordinary Qataris who might wear a rainbow shirt when the world isn't watching here? What's that like?" (Read more 2022 World Cup stories.)

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