Grant Wahl and FIFA World Cup via Grant Wahl Twitter and FIFA YouTube

World Cup reporter and sports journalist Grant Wahl was reported dead on December 10, 2022 just days after he reported he was not allowed to enter the stadium for the United States vs. Wales match while wearing a rainbow-themed shirt.

Wahl wrote on Twitter on November 21st, “Just now: Security guard refusing to let me into the stadium for USA-Wales. ‘You have to change your shirt. It’s not allowed.’”

Grant Wahl Twitter

He later stated, “I’m OK, but that was an unnecessary ordeal. Am in the media center, still wearing my shirt. Was detained for nearly half an hour. Go gays”

Grant Wahl Twitter

On his Substack he went into further detail claiming the guards informed him that his “shirt was ‘political’ and not allowed.” While he claimed “another continually refused to give me back my phone. Another guard yelled at me as he stood above me—I was sitting on a chair by now—that I had to remove my shirt.”

He went on to detail that New York Times reporter Andrew Das was also detained after Wahl informed him about the situation. Eventually Das was let go and then a security commander let him go into the stadium as well.

Wahl would add, “One of the security guards told me they were just trying to protect me from fans inside who could harm me for wearing the shirt.”

FIFA World Cup Stadium in Qatar via FIFA YouTube

Following Wahl’s death his brother suggested that foul play was at work in a number of tweets. At one point he tweeted, “I spoke with Grant just the other day for his birthday. He thought he’d caught bronchitis. I no longer believe that’s what it was. Grant told me he’d received death threats. His phone better be among his things at Hamad hospital.”

Eric Wahl Twitter

In a video uploaded to social media that has since been deleted, Wahl said he believed his brother was killed. “My brother was healthy. He told me he received death threats. I do not believe my brother just died. I believe he was killed. And I just beg for any help.”

After deleting the video, Wahl posted a thread to Twitter writing, “To clarify, Grant was a healthy person in his regular life. I know he’d been under the weather recently & that he was told it was bronchitis & given medication. I’m aware of his posts about feeling like his body shut down. He was a workaholic & had used that phrase before w me…

He continued, “…(body shut down) just as a general indication that he needed to take a break & get some rest, so I didn’t immediately feel worried. Please allow me some grace for the emotional video I posted while I was still in shock. I didn’t know it would go everywhere…

Wahl then added, “…until I returned to delete it, but by then, it was already everywhere. When I learned of Grant’s death, my immediate thought was that he had been killed. This was based on things G said to me the last 2 times I spoke w him. But there’s obviously no way I know anything certain.”

Eric Wahl Twitter

Wahl would later claim he had nothing to apologize for, “Regardless of the outcome, I have nothing to apologize for. Thoroughly corrupt people & organizations remain thoroughly corrupt people & organizations & must always be held to scrutiny & account. This World Cup never should have taken place where it did.”

Eric Wahl Twitter

However, he would issue an apology on December 12th, “I apologize unequivocally. But my initial statement stemmed from 2 things, neither of which related to racism: concerning things Grant told me, and well-known corruption.”

Eric Wahl Twitter

Then on December 13th, he claimed he “no longer suspect foul play.”

Eric Wahl Twitter

As for the statement from the family, Wahl’s wife, Céline Gounder, posted an update on Grant Wahl’s Substack where she explained, “An autopsy was performed by the New York City Medical Examiner’s Office. Grant died from the rupture of a slowly growing, undetected ascending aortic aneurysm with hemopericardium.”

She continued, “The chest pressure he experienced shortly before his death may have represented the initial symptoms. No amount of CPR or shocks would have saved him. His death was unrelated to COVID. His death was unrelated to vaccination status. There was nothing nefarious about his death.”

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