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Playing politics at the Grey Cup

Last Updated Nov 26, 2019 at 1:26 pm MDT

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.

“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.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford was booed while walking the stage at the Toronto Raptors victory celebration this past summer.

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.