‘It was completely our fault’: OSEG owns flag fiasco

Photo courtesy: Ottawa Tourism

One of the biggest stories to emerge from Friday night’s home opener at TD Place had nothing to do with the team’s on-field performance.

Adding insult to the injury of witnessing another loss, some of members of R-Nation were accosted and had their flags seized, while one die-hard Southsider was even kicked out of the game for refusing to give up his flag.

Other members of R-Nation were asked to stop ringing their cowbells by security. Ironically, cowbells were being sold at discount during the game.

The reaction from TD Place staff was shocking, given that flags and cowbells had been waving and ringing at Lansdowne for decades.

“It came completely out of nowhere,” said one fan who was granted anonymity. “We had zero warning and given that we’ve been bringing flags and cowbells in since the Renegade era, I never imagined it would suddenly be an issue.”

When reached for comment, OSEG President and CEO Mark Goudie was quick to apologize.

“It’s completely our fault,” he told 3DownNation. “We are in the process of transitioning to a new security provider and we obviously didn’t provide good enough training and communications around some of the nuances around CFL football and what we allow into our games. Flags and cowbells have been a part of Ottawa’s CFL experience from long before I came to games with my dad as a kid and sat in the north stands, and we intend for that tradition to continue.”

“It was awesome to see and feel the passion of R-Nation back at TD Place on opening night and we look forward to having those flags fly and cowbells back disrupting the Lions next Thursday.”

Longtime Southsider Jonathan von Teichman, one of those who had his flags taken by security, is pleased to see OSEG quickly take responsibility.

“I’m glad they’ve apologized but we need to make sure it’s not just empty words and that things are back to normal for the next game.”

Santino Filoso is originally from Ottawa and has written about the Redblacks since 2013. He is the only CFL writer currently living in Brazil (as far as we know).