Former Ticat Marwan Hage says he’s the victim of racial profiling at airport

Former Hamilton Tiger-Cats offensive lineman Marwan Hage says he is routinely the victim of racial profiling at the Montreal airport.

Hage, who retired in 2013 and now owns several Tim Hortons franchises in Toronto as well as serving as a CFLPA vice-president, took to Twitter on Saturday after being selected for secondary screening at the Montreal airport, something he says happens on a regular basis.

Hage was born in Beruit, Lebanon and emigrated to Montreal when he was nine. He was well known for his charitable works in the Hamilton community, largely through his Hage’s Heroes campaign, during his time with the Ticats.

Ticat owner Bob Young voiced his support for Hage and encouraged other Hamilton fans to do the same.

He also got a response from the airport.

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.
Drew Edwards
Drew Edwards
About Drew Edwards (1570 Articles)
Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.

91 Comments on Former Ticat Marwan Hage says he’s the victim of racial profiling at airport

  1. You mean to tell me that french people are racist? Why I never!

  2. Comments on this story will not go well judging by the first one.

  3. Puck hog // March 17, 2018 at 5:17 pm //

    C’mon, Hage! Let’s tweet about how butt-hurt you are (ya, I’m sure you get picked out 100% of the time for a check?! ), and then let’s call everyone who works at the airport a racist?

    • patlynch // March 17, 2018 at 6:04 pm //

      Do a little TiCat research Hockey Puck before you make your usual comments. Hage is a class act, unlike you.

    • Green is the Color // March 18, 2018 at 10:16 am //

      Your comment epitomizes exactly what Mr Hage faces on a daily basis from the creamy supreme whities … when folks like you pull your head from your back side, our country will be better served. Get a life.

      • Well,well, look at your racist comment about Caucasians. And don’t even start commenting on what Hage goes through on a daily basis or what I believe in, because you don’t know. I have been screened at an airport countless times. My point is that Iunlike Hage, i don’t find a need to go on social media to alert everyone that I am offended and therefore all Canadians should be offended, too. Of course this plays into the hands of the sanctimonious, politically correct Liberals who have been called out on this very thread. And sorry you are so butt-hurt, lol!

        • Green is the Color // March 18, 2018 at 12:00 pm //

          You can’t be for real. Surely you are not that shallow or obtuse to suggest your opinion trumps all others. I suggest the reason you’re profiles is because you look pissed off and angry. Kind of like how you present here. Your terms of reference are both childish and say a lot more about you than who you direct your insults at. But heck, been around this site long enough to know the number and degree of haters who find their way here. You are right up with the best of them. Carry on, must be proud.

          • I don’t have a clue of what you are saying in your post, but I do notice you didn’t deny that you spew racist comments.

      • Screw you and your “creamy supreme whities” comment.

        • Green is the Color // March 19, 2018 at 4:53 pm //

          Very mature Bill. I rest my case.

          • Puck hog // March 19, 2018 at 6:13 pm //

            Your case was rested the moment you posted your racist comment.

          • Green is the Color // March 20, 2018 at 3:57 pm //

            So you’re saying it’s racist to state a white man profiling a dark skin person is racist. Good one. Haaaaaaaaaaaaa I laugh at your ignorance Fat Hog. Again, your comments point to your character loud and clear.

          • Puck Hog // March 20, 2018 at 5:08 pm //

            Lol, Green, that’s not what you said at all!!!

  4. Good for Marwan calling this situation out. And good for the Airport Authority in responding.

    • Why good for him?
      We live in a world where terrorism is real and groups like ISIS are out there traveling around the world.
      Canada gets criticized for it’s lack of security and letting in terrorists.
      You expect that people of Mid East heritage will get extra scrutiny at airports.

      • Puck Hog // March 18, 2018 at 7:20 am //

        Amicus is just a follower, following the line of the politically correct……..

      • Exactly Jim. Last time I looked these cowards who dress up in bed sheets and claim responsibility for killing innocents don’t have surnames like Smith or Jones. Sorry, that’s the reality of the situation today. If people want to succumb to political correctness they can go ahead. Me? I’ll trust the airport security workers and their judgement and certainly empathize with them for the crap they have to endear on a daily basis trying to protect us from these extremest nuts.

        • Philski – Jim …. please list ISIS terrorist incidents in Canada in the past 10 years … I mean ISIS soldiers sent to Canada to kill and maim … okay … none.

          hmm okay how about “ISIS inspired” terrorist incidents … most people cite the incident in Ottawa that cost Nathan Cirillo his life although the connection to ISIS is pretty dubious and has much more to do with mental illness. The perpetrator was a native born Canadian … Joseph Paul Michael Bibeau … pretty Quebecois name and background but to be fair his father was from Libya.

          The Parliament Hill shooting took place in 2014 as well as the fatal attack on Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent … by Martin Couture-Rouleau … hmm sounds pretty pure laine to me. Also a candidate for the ISIS inspired category.

          Now there was the Edmonton cub van attack in 2017 by Abdulahi Sharif … and it may qualify … there hasn’t been a trial yet … but it looks like it may be ISIS inspired.

          The biggest terror attack in Canada was the Quebec City mosque shooting – with six killed – perpetrated by Alexandre Bissonnette … hmmm probably not Lebanese … right? Are they sending everyone named Guy or Jacques off to secondary screening now at the airport?

          So based on the actual facts … not the crap stirred up on Fox News … Canada is not under seige from ISIS … most perpetrators of terrorist acts in Canada are white guys with traditional Quebecois surnames … and more violence is perpetrated against Muslims than by Muslims in Canada.

          I agree that one is too many but the scale of the threat does not justify removing the civil liberties of a large segment of our population by singling them out as presumed terrorists … see interning of Japanese Canadians WW2 as an example not to be repeated.

          Yes there have been several plots that have been detected by CSIS and prevented … bravo … and some of these plots did involve people with non-white backgrounds … so there may be more below the surface. But the perception that we need to build walls or interrogate everyone with brownish skin or funny sounding names is just wrong.

          All Canadians want our security forces to do their job but it should be fact based … not driven by either racism or its more common second cousin … fear of the stranger. Most of these “strangers” are good people like Marwan.

          If in fact Marwan has been disproportionately “randomly selected” then good for him in calling it out … and good for the airport authority for taking it as a learning experience.

          If you are not convinced by the facts … then pull up those bedsheets over your heads …

          • Wolf is always at the door, Abacus, I’m sure you’ve heard that phrase. It is sourced from an old morality tale (or Don Henley – you choose). Just because it hasn’t bit you in the ass yet doesn’t mean it’s not there and the threat doesn’t exist. So, I will maintain my “non-political correctness” posture on this one and once again say that I trust the good people at airport security to keep the wolf from entering my house. But you are certainly entitled to your opinion.

          • Amicus Said: So based on the actual facts … not the crap stirred up on Fox News.

            ROFL! So what do you consider legit news? CNN? CBC? Because they haven’t been caught twisting the truth.

            Also, I don’t see much facts in your rant, mostly your opinion.

  5. Edward Leslie // March 17, 2018 at 5:46 pm //

    Marwan Hage should contact fellow Montreal native, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. If Trudeau can give terrorist Omar Khadr $10 million, I’m sure an innocent person like Hage should at least be able to get an apology for discriminatory practices by the airport authority.

    • Hugh Mackenzie // March 17, 2018 at 6:29 pm //

      Uh, and you do realize Harper and his crew were the ones who set up Khadr with a guaranteed slam dunk of a case. And, of course, they were told to settle, too. But as politicians, they knew they were due for a loss and left the hot potato for the incoming PM.

      But, of course, Edward Leslie can’t use basic pretty literacy skills to read beyond the title. Guess you love the Toronto Sun, huh?

  6. Most of us are guilty of racial or gender profiling at some point in time. Unfortunately stereotypes get in our heads and we do it without even thinking about it. If you need examples I’d be happy to provide but in this day and age we have to say NO MORE! It’s wrong and we need to end the practice of it.

    • NO we don’t, not at airports and all points of entry into Canada. We live in a world of terrorism and sadly most of the terrorists originate in the Mid East.

      Security and border services agents must racial profile, they would give extra scrutiny to someone with Mid East appearance. Terrorists aren’t blonde Scandinavians

  7. Edward Leslie // March 17, 2018 at 6:42 pm //

    Okay Hugh. Blame Stephen Harper for your boy, Jihad Justin screwing up. Next you’ll say Harper picked out that goofy outfit that the P.M. wore in India! LOL

    • Hugh Mackenzie // March 17, 2018 at 6:51 pm //

      As expected, with no knowledge, your rebuttal becomes a classic case of deflection.

      By the way, in case you have time to read, maybe you and your hillbilly friends who claim to be Canadians may want to read the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Oh, and the UN’ rights of a child may be great, too. That is, if you have time between rerun episodes of Hee Haw.

      • A couple of episodes of Hee Haw might do you some good. Loosen up those butt cheeks of yours a little bit.

      • So Hugh anyone that doesn’t vote Liberal is a Hillbilly?
        You believe in a one party state?
        Please don’t bring up the UN, it’s meaningless, has no authority.

        Use your brain and comment on the article about racial profiling instead of a political rant

      • Would care to provide the section we should read?

  8. Drew’s Dirty Beard // March 17, 2018 at 6:56 pm //

    Hugh Mackenzie may be my new favourite poster.

  9. Before slandering airports personnel or Canadians as bigoted , Or, before defending security practices and calling Hage untruthful… discover the facts. Is he really stopped one hundred percent of the time? If so, it would seem likely that his name has been flagged. Next, get the facts on how the airport security and “random” checks work. I know white people as well as people of colour who claim that they are always “randomly” screened at airports. Let’s dig for actual facts before we judge or condemn anyone. Hage doesn’t have reason to lie but there might be an explanation beyond racial profiling and bigotry .

  10. Edward Leslie // March 17, 2018 at 7:54 pm //

    Hugh, I can’t quite understand the connection between being a critic of Justin Trudeau and watching Hee Haw. Not a big deal though.
    However I definitely need you to enlighten me about the Canadian Charter of Rights. WHERE is the part where we have the rights to big bucks if we are involved in acts of terrorism? Damn, I can’t seem to find that part!

    • Hugh Mackenzie // March 17, 2018 at 8:28 pm //

      I apologize Edward Leslie. I stand corrected. You sir are a genius. I just read through it again, and there is no mention of it. And better yet, there is nothing in there about speeding tickets. So, if I were to get one in the next lil while, I will approach the bench.

      “Your Honour, our Nobel Prize nominee, Edward Leslie, has found many areas of the Charter lacking in detail. For example, there is no mention of traffic infractions related to speeding. That being said, I now ask the courts to deem my notice of offence to be null and void.”

      Thanks, Edward Leslie!

  11. Edward Leslie // March 17, 2018 at 8:04 pm //

    Tommy, I wouldn’t be surprised if Marwan Hage’s buddy, Peter Dyakowski said that too. Hage is a big tough looking dude. If I saw him coning down the sidewalk, I might cross the road in fear. LOL
    The fact is that Hage was one of the CFL’s nice guys, who was always involved in charity and active in the community.
    The moral to the story: You can’t judge a book by it’s cover. But racial profiling is all about attempting to do just that!

  12. What’s up with this whole “butt-hurt” thing. Are you six years old?

    • Puck Hog // March 17, 2018 at 9:29 pm //

      You sound butt-hurt!

    • If you are someone that can not argue a point and you don’t have much of an education and you can’t comment on politics or terrorism, then they will attack other people and use terms like “butt-hurt”. It stops people talking about the subject and and they troll and get the attention.

      • LOL – great point. Guys like Hugh don’t have the intellect to argue so they throw out childish gibberish. The scary thing is that this guy is able to vote and he doesn’t understand what is going on in the world

        • Hugh Mackenzie // March 18, 2018 at 8:02 am //

          I will challenge you to a debate any place at any time.

          We record it and post it to YouTube.

          You pick the topic.
          We will agree to legal terms that there will be no editing of the video.

          Up for the challenge, Joe?

          • Puck Hog // March 18, 2018 at 8:20 am //

            Joe, when you pick the topic, don’t pick hillbillies or butt cheeks. Hugh seems to know a lot about those……

          • This is the 3down (a football site) not a CBC political forum Hugh. And that’s not open for debate !

      • Puck Hog // March 18, 2018 at 7:32 am //

        Good one, Jim! I didn’t know this was a political and terrorism forum. Sorry you are so butt-hurt!

  13. Edward Leslie // March 17, 2018 at 9:21 pm //

    Well I was glad to set you on the right path, Hugh.
    Oh geez, according to the clock on the wall, its almost time for “Hee Haw”! After that, they have The Beverly Hillbillies, Green Acres, a Dukes of Hazzard marathon and the 2017 Banjo Bowl replay between Saskatchewan and Winnipeg. I love the Hillbilly Network. I watch it even more than T.S.N.!

  14. No place for racial profiling in our society period this is Canada

  15. Hugh – as the India Prime Minister commented that CBC didn’t carry – Prime Minister Harper has a major in Economics and this new Prime Minister has a major in drama – Jihad Justin continues , lol

    • Drew’s Dirty Beard // March 17, 2018 at 11:39 pm //

      Stage, I didn’t see that in the Indian press either, please provide a link.
      Also, you get how conservative Modi is right?
      I had hoped Trudeau wouldn’t bother meeting him.

  16. Hugh pull your head out of your a__
    I have been through many random checks who cares? Unless your trying to do something illegal what’s the big deal.Bottom line it’s all about safety.If something ever happened it would be the people like you who would be the first one’s to complain about how they didn’t do their job.

    • Hugh Mackenzie // March 18, 2018 at 12:01 am //

      Are you a jackass?
      Where did I even comment on the security?
      I commented on Leslie’s incorrect assertion. Read the comments first!

  17. HughJass should be that guy’s handle.

  18. Freelasagnahunter // March 17, 2018 at 10:16 pm //

    Thanks for the football news Drew. Seriously, ask the Spec to take you off the football beat and put you on general assignment where virtue signalling seems less clumsy.

  19. Totally agree Freelasagna. Drew’s a nice guy….but not a football beat writer

  20. JoeSchmuck27 // March 18, 2018 at 12:16 am //

    Haha Edward Leslie, you’re my new favourite poster here! Thank you for adding your level of intelligence amongst all these children, primarily Hugh.

  21. Edward Leslie // March 18, 2018 at 12:20 am //

    No problemo, Joe. I think Hugh is a Justin Trudeau campaign worker. He’s confused and a bit uptight, but he’s a CFL fan, so he’s still okay in my books.

  22. Like it or not racial profiling of people that look muslim or have arabic sounding names is going to continue at airports. Racial profiling is nasty but sometimes it is justified.

    • I agree but I would say looking Mid East not looking Muslim since a Muslim is a religion not an ethnic group.
      Marwan Hage is Lebanese Canadian and he was part of the large Christian Lebanese that left Lebanon.
      The large Lebanese population in Ottawa is Christian.

      • That’s right Hage is NOT a Muslim. He is Christian Lebanese. Many Mid East Christians were forced out of the Mid East

      • Joe – Lots of people of Lebanese descent that are Muslim in Ottawa – I’ve been to some Big weddings.

  23. The Realist // March 18, 2018 at 2:30 am //

    I agree Yoshi; it’s justified.

  24. Chris Coult // March 18, 2018 at 6:49 am //

    Which race?

  25. patlynch // March 18, 2018 at 9:57 am //

    Marwan gave his time and money to help underprivileged kids in the Hamilton area. He helped to organize food drives and donated turkeys to needy families at holiday time . The man could run for mayor of Hamilton and he’d get my vote . Of course, we could always dismiss him as a possible terrorist if we were “innernet trolls”.

  26. Alex Droho // March 18, 2018 at 12:18 pm //

    Politics aside; it is unfortunate but it is simply one of the tools used for security at airports these days.

  27. Hey Alex, is it? Is it really? Do you have proof? Again, just uncover facts before spewing common perceptions. I firmly believe Hage feels like he is being racially profiled but his perception is not necessarily the reality. Please know your facts before and have proof before painting Canadians or aspects of Canadian society as exhibiting bigotry.

    • Alex Droho // March 18, 2018 at 7:59 pm //

      BG: It’s part of predictive profiling. Secondly, I did not paint Canadians in any form so heed your own comments. Have the facts before and proof before you go off on a tangent.

  28. BigGus – Yes, profiling is used in Canadian airport screening as it is in many other countries. It is racist but it is also justified. Sucks, but that’s what happens when an identifiable group tries to randomly kill people the world over – again and again and again.

  29. The Oxford definition of racism is as follows:
    “1Prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior.”
    The Hage action does not therefore fit the definition. Racism has become a term thrown around too casually.
    As someone employed in security services, police and governments most certainly do scrutinize some people from some countries more than others. This is not because they are “racist” but because the target country involves higher risk.
    Professionally, I am surprised to see Bob Young go off as he did.

  30. The CFL has it right: Diversity Is Strength.

    Thanks Marvin for identifying the continuing challenges, and thanks 3DN for the great variety in journalistic stories, esp in the off-season.

  31. dangerdan21 // March 18, 2018 at 7:24 pm //

    I use be Marwan Fan till he Rude to my nephew at a football Clinic
    He was 10 year old kid and really upset him
    After that I lost all Respect for him
    Still no deserves to be racially profiled

  32. Yoshi- I have found zero definitive evidence that airport security in Canada uses racial profiling methods. In fact, last summer the National Post ran a story about how lousy and ineffective security checks are in Canada because they refuse to use such tactics. Instead, everyone is treated as a potential terror threat.
    Phil- I agree racism is a term being thrown around much too arbitrarily, much like bullying has lost its original meaning.
    Again, perhaps Hage and others feel like they are being racially profiled but I am still not convinced this happens in Canada at airport security. I would love to see stats, numbers, etc that prove otherwise but until then, I must disagree with Hage. There is only one reality despite people having different perceptions.

  33. C.Stephen Cassin // March 18, 2018 at 11:25 pm //

    The reality is airport checks have to be done. I get them regularly on departure as well and think nothing of it, on arrival to my regular destination my luggage is subjected further to a canine search and more often than not I’m singled out for a secondary bag search. Its not news worthy or a big deal. The staff has a job to do and if you don’t want to be searched don’t travel.

  34. Edward Leslie // March 19, 2018 at 3:23 am //

    After 9/11, George W. Bush said that the best response was to NOT let the acts of terrorism change the way things are done in American life.
    Of course thats exactly what happened!
    Nothing has been the same since. The ridiculous amount of security measures, based on that single event in New York City 17 YEARS AGO, is the excuse to deprive people of their rights. It is really just paranoia and hysteria for the most part… and I DON’T ACCEPT IT!
    Canada, as in most things, has to copy the U.S., even when its a bad idea.

    • Well Edward, if you don’t accept it, good luck getting on a plane to any major US city. Or any city at all for that matter.

      • Marwan stop being a cry baby and you to Hugh
        I am white I get searched almost ever time
        I agree with BigGus racism and PC is starting to lose it’s meaning

  35. I have flown 3 times in my life.all to the states.Each time I was pulled out of the line up (while carrying my boots) and checked with a wand. I am white as they come. I made light of the situation and joked about it. So that makes 100%. They are doing their job.

    • My fiancé and I were recently random searched too on our way to the states. We’re both 24 years old, totally white, and I’m pregnant.

      But it was fine. We actually got through way faster that way than if we had to wait in line, so it saved us half an hour or so (which again, I’m pregnant, so I appreciated that).

  36. I am sorry for him if he feels like he was profiled, but I feel as though they were just doing their job. I doubt they look at his name and flag him as a terrorist as much as where he comes from which is hotbed for terrorist activity. Although I could be wrong on that. If so, well. I have also been pulled aside 2 of the last 3 times I’ve been through security.

  37. Barry McCawkiner // March 19, 2018 at 11:47 pm //

    This thread is hilarious. I’ve been at Pearson 3x since Jan1. All I remember is the majority of the folks working at the security check points were non-white and could barely speak English… those non-white security guards always picking on the….nah… too easy!

  38. Definition of racist Canadian Redneck whites …
    Rosey fingered pink.

  39. …and from human interest story, now on to sports. In local football news, the Ticats are…

  40. Poor Marwan what a horrible life you must live and terrible country you live in
    Former professional football player, VP of CFLPA and owns several Tim Horton’s locations.How dare they bother you at the airport.Wonder what life would be like in Lebanon?

  41. patlynch // March 22, 2018 at 6:54 am //

    It is called Rider Pride, you troll! If you were indeed a Rider fan, do you seriously believe Ron Lancaster would be proud of the nonsense that you spew ? Go be a “divider” somewhere else !

  42. Patlynce go away just another cry baby go do your whining
    somewhere else.Sick of listening to cry baby’s
    What does it have to do how I spell riderpride oh right gives you another reason to cry about something you jerk

  43. Patlynce go away just another cry baby go do your whining
    somewhere else.Sick of listening to cry baby’s
    What does it have to do how I spell riderpride oh right gives you another reason to cry about something you jerk

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