Some Toronto FC supporters would love to wave such a banner too ... if only Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE) would let them.
Soccer fan Ciaran Breen unfurled the following banner at a game on Sunday.
But then this happened.
— Ciarán Breen (@keep_score) September 13, 2015
The National Post reported that fans were told they couldn't hold the banner unless they were sitting in the supporters' area, between sections 111 and 119 at BMO Field.
The fans pointed out they were sitting in section 111, but they eventually took down the banner anyway, after speaking further with security.
MLSE told the Post that "banners containing political messaging of any kind are not permitted."
Its removal led to plenty of criticism on social media.
Pretty sad that a 2nd division team playing in a CFL stadium was allowed to fly a huge #refugeeswelcome banner but at an MLS stadia not so.— Jim Powers (@jimmystagger) September 14, 2015
I'm not suggesting that someone should print a few hundred refugees welcome t-shirts and sell them at cost to TFC fans next Sat. No. Never.— Duane Rollins (@24thminute) September 14, 2015
This development comes after German soccer clubs Borussia Dortmund and St. Pauli hoisted a united "Refugees Welcome" banner last week, CBC News reported.
But not all soccer clubs have been as welcoming.
Fans of Israel's Maccabi Tel Aviv were spotted with a "Refugees not welcome" banner at a game against Kiryat Shmona, The Daily Mirror reported.
Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel)
"Refugees not welcome" pic.twitter.com/uPItb04QNO— It's an ultra life (@itsultralife01) September 12, 2015
But fans of another Israeli club, Hapoel Tel Aviv, hoisted a banner in Hebrew that said, "Who isn't a migrant here?"
אוהדי הפועל ת"א מראים אנושיות במשחק מול מכבי נתניה pic.twitter.com/romSZb8lNu— Yoav Cohen (@ycohen84) September 12, 2015
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees has counted a total of 4,088,099 registered refugees from Syria.
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