A small group of anti-vaxxers got their way into a minor football game in Chilliwack on Saturday.
The incident happened during a Chilliwack Giants Minor Football Association game at Townsend Park in Chilliwack around 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 6.
Provincial requirements state that in the Fraser East region proof of vaccination is required to attend outdoor events of more than 50 people.
Security was checking vaccination statuses at the entrance. According to a bystander, things got “heated” when the group of about a dozen people arrived at the gate and did not show proof of vaccination. The Progress was told the leader of the group, a man from Mission, was swearing outside the gate saying “We have rights,” demanding they be let in.
A representative with the Giants said the man is known for organizing similar incidents. The Giants knew the group would be there and warned security and police beforehand, he said.
That organizer, a man named Brody Scharfe, contacted The Progress to deny that he was swearing, and that he has organized similar protests in the past. Scharfe insisted the football club should not be checking vaccine passports.
RCMP were on scene but it did not get violent.
Security at the game were not going to let the group in, but a representative for a team playing at the field allowed them in. They were then seated in a section of bleachers away from others who did provide proof of vaccination.
The Giants’ representative said he was upset about the incident. He added that other unvaccinated folks were welcome to attend and were still able to watch the game from the outside of the gate where there is plenty of space with a full view of the field.
“We feel that a sporting event for 10-year-olds is not the place for a political statement,” David Rooney, president of the Valley Community Football League (VCFL) wrote in a statement to The Chilliwack Progress.
He added that the leader of the group of people who refused to show vaccination status at the gate was a parent from Mission whose kid was not playing in the game.
The game being played at the time was a peewee division semi-final game where the Chilliwack Giants White team went up against the North Langley Bears.