Doug Ford wasn’t exactly embraced with open arms during his appearance at the Special Olympics Ontario Invitational Youth Games ceremony in Toronto last night. Ford gave an uplifting speech congratulating the participating athletes for competing in the event. But, in response, Doug Ford got booed.
"Congratulations to all the incredible athletes who will be competing over the next few days, and a big welcome to their families and coaches," said Ford during his speech. "We're proud to have the opportunity to host the Games and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Special Olympics. Thank you to everyone involved in making these Games happen and best of luck to all the athletes."
Ford was met with a negative response as members of the crowd began to boo the Premier. Ford later commented on it in his usual cadence stating, “Boy...you know something? I haven't heard that much energy in a long time. Boy, that's the first event I've ever been booed,” reports NEWSTALK 1010.
But, Ford's remark about never having been booed at an event before isn't entirely true, according to previous reports. Ford has actually been booed on several different occasions. Ford was heckled back in November of last year during a Peterborough Pete’s game where he made an appearance to drop the first puck of the game.
Ford was also booed during a heated mayoral debate back in 2014 while attempting to defend remarks he had supposedly made to disparage the Jewish community:
Ford also faced naysayers at a Somali event in April of last year which he had attended to support the reinstallment of controversial police unit TAVIS, which had previously been shut down over carding concerns.
The Special Olympics invites over two thousand student-athletes between the ages of 13 and 21 annually. This year marked the first time that high school-aged athletes with intellectual disabilities were given the opportunity to participate in an international sports event. The Youth Games will feature a number of different sports including, basketball, floor hockey, and soccer. Competitions will be held in venues across the GTA.