Kanye West Pan American Games: 40,000 Sign Petition Against Closing Performance

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Kanye West Pan-Am Games Petition

By Shari Weiss

Kanye West Pan-Am Games Petition

(Getty Images)

More than 40,000 people have signed a petition protesting Kanye West’s planned performance at the closing of the Pan American Games.

The 2015 Pan Am Games have been taking place in Toronto since July 10. On Wednesday, organizers announced on that West is confirmed to be the headliner at the closing ceremony on July 26. Pitbull and Serena Ryder were revealed as co-performers.

But it’s only West’s participation that has caused outrage. While some have taken to Twitter to complain due to the rapper’s controversial reputation, a Change.org petition raises a different issue. Put simply, he’s not Canadian.

The petition’s mission statement reads:

“The Toronto Pan Am games have proven to be very important for Torontonians this year and have triggered a unified sense of pride in our city. It would only be just to ask a proud Torontonian (or even a Canadian for that matter) in the music industry to perform, such as Drake, Walk Off The Earth, Feist, Metric, Shania Twain, deadmau5, Crystal Castles, Zeds Dead, The Weeknd, Peaches, K’naan, and many many more! The options for Toronto artists are far from limited and choosing someone like Kanye West raises several concerns among the people. Why was a local artist or group not chosen and supported, just as our local athletes are throughout the games? Toronto Pan Am Games organizing committee please reconsider your decision as we will NOT be attending Kanye West’s show.”

Of course, while Pitbull isn’t Canadian either, Ryder IS, having been born in Toronto, and organizers wanted to have an “international” lineup represented. The Pan Am Games, which are held in a different city every four years, are a global event, and the United States has more than 600 people participating, only second to Canada (720 team members). Nevertheless, the Change.org petition currently has more than 41,000 signatures.

While it remains to be seen if organizers will change course, similar petitions in the past have not had success. One targeting West’s Ottawa Bluesfest performance earlier this month had no change on the lineup, nor did another calling for West to be dumped as June’s Glastonbury headliner. Tell us what you think of this latest controversy in the comments below.

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