The Paramount Fine Foods Centre, based in Mississauga, Ont., is home to the Mississauga Steelheads hockey club and the Raptors 905 basketball team. If the name Paramount Fine Foods rings a bell, it might be because the company’s CEO, Mohamed Fakih, has been in the news for all the wrong reasons in the past few days. Fakih is allegedly responsible for comments that many observers deem both hateful and antisemitic.
One tweet reads, “We don’t want your money. Please don’t bring us blood money.”
Another tweet states, “We don’t need your money. Our clients are respectful families from all backgrounds. We welcome everyone but not the one that supports baby killers and governments that are starving innocent civilians.”
Questions arise, such as: who authored these tweets? Who was the intended audience? And who exactly is the “you” in these statements – a specific person or a group of people?
We reached out several times to interview Fakih but he would not respond. Still, in the days ahead, if it is proven that Fakih authored these inflammatory tweets and that he was directing them at the Jewish community, this is both sad and disturbing.
Also, given that the Paramount Fine Foods Centre is owned and operated by the City of Mississauga, we ponder if this taxpayer-funded municipality still wants to be associated with Fakih and Paramount.
We reached out to the facility by email to see if there is any consideration being given to nullifying the naming rights contract with Paramount Fine Foods. We have yet to receive a reply.
Please note: we are not fans of cancel culture. And as Fakih makes the rounds of mainstream media outlets giving interviews that those tweets are being misinterpreted, he, too, is bemoaning cancel culture. Little wonder: many people are calling on the public to boycott his restaurant chain.
Yet, talk about karma. After all, Mohamed Fakih himself was part of the cancel culture mob some five years ago when the objective was to de-platform Canadian hockey legend Don Cherry in 2019. Cherry had made comments about Remembrance Day on his Coach’s Corner segment of Hockey Night In Canada that certain left-wing snowflakes took exception to. How odd that a cancel culture cheerleader in 2019 has morphed into a champion of free speech today.
And how’s this for added irony: the address for the Paramount Fine Foods Centre is 5500 Rose Cherry Place. Rose Cherry is Don Cherry’s dearly departed wife. Again: karma.
Interestingly, the Paramount Fine Foods Centre has a fan code of conduct. It reads, in part:
The Paramount Fine Foods Centre is committed to creating a safe, comfortable, and enjoyable entertainment experience for all fans. Accordingly, we will not tolerate unsafe, abusive, unlawful or offensive conduct in our venues. This conduct includes, without limitation: Making abusive, sexist, racist, offensive or obscene remarks or gestures.
How very interesting. We’re certain that a fan making an antisemitic remark or any other hateful statement would be ejected and perhaps even banned from returning to the venue.
But if the allegations are proven true that Mohamed Fakih authored those inflammatory tweets and that the intended audience was the Jewish community as opposed to a single individual this would seem to run contrary to the facility’s fan code of conduct. Or is there perhaps a two-tier code of conduct at play here? Is there one set of rules for the fans up in the cheap seats and a completely different code of conduct for those cutting hefty cheques to enrich the arena via a naming rights deal?
Talk about offside…