Toronto Mayor Rob Ford made an announcement about a kids’ sports camp on Wednesday – but not everyone at the soccer company behind the camp has always been a fan of the mayor’s.
Mayor Ford appeared at Soccerworld Polson Pier Wednesday afternoon to pledge his support for a soccer camp the company will be running along with the Real Madrid Foundation this summer for underprivileged kids. At the event, he presented a scroll of the city to Soccerworld president Rob Ortali as well as representatives from the Real Madrid.
But a now-deleted blog post (a version of the website stored by Google is still available here) on the Soccerworld website from December of last year lists the “Top 5 reasons Soccerworld is nothing like Rob Ford,” including among them that “we don’t smoke crack.”
The post continues to say, “The city of Toronto is an eight billion dollar a year company. How can someone run a business of this magnitude while smoking crack? Crack smokers can’t hold onto the most basic of jobs. Why? Because they are too busy eating chocolate and looking for more crack.”
Mr. Ortali told reporters at the event that he had never read the post until it was brought to his attention by reporters Wednesday, and immediately asked for it to be removed.
“We have no position on the mayor,” he said. “We liked that he showed up to our event today and he’s the representative of our city.”
When reporters pointed out to Mr. Ortali that he had “liked” that post – and other similar ones ridiculing the mayor on the Soccerworld Facebook page – he said again that he had never read them. His Facebook profile also shared the post in early December, with the comment “Superb!”
“I like a lot of stuff,” he said. “A lot of times I don’t read it, and basically, I’ll just press ‘like, like, like, like, like.’ ”
He said he had apologized to the mayor over the posts, and was investigating who had written them as well as reviewing the company’s social media policy.
Other points on the original blog post include “we love exercise,” “we’re reliable” (while “Rob Ford tramples elderly women while reminding the world that he is extremely satisfied on the home front”) “we like the people in our office” and “we don’t defy science like Rob Ford.”
A separate post on the Soccerworld Facebook page – also “liked” by Mr. Ortali – features a photo of the mayor with the words “I don’t always smoke crack. But when I do, it’s in a drunken stupor.”