Santa Claus, most of Toronto city council and now the Toronto ‘Argo Nots’.
The list of organizations and political actors distancing themselves from Toronto’s mayor grew on Thursday after more toxic comments, and another apology, from Rob Ford
The latest mayoral gaffe grew from graphic comments uttered by Mayor Ford on Thursday morning who, visibly angered and very visible in a Toronto Argonauts jersey, lashed out at reports that he consorted with prostitutes while wearing the chains of office
In an early morning broadside the mayor, commenting on recently released Toronto Police search warrant documents indicating he’d consorted with prostitutes, let loose with comments that some city councillors, such as Janet Davis (Ward 31, Beaches-East York), termed disgusting and repulsive.
Caught in the middle of the latest PR train wreck was the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts who, in happier times, would be proud to be branded with the mayor of the fifth largest city in North America.
But on Thursday no amount of defensive backs could hold the line against an angry public already calling for the mayor to be sacked.
And, within an hour of uttering his ill-chosen words, the Argonauts organization sent out a series of tweets distancing themselves from Mayor Ford.
“These latest remarks, while wearing our team’s jersey, are particularly disappointing,” read a post on Twitter by the Argo’s communication wing.
For communication specialists, the ability to meet the challenges of wayward words is a matter of course.
“One of the important things is to be able to react quickly,” said Barry Waite, program coordinator of the public relations program at Centennial College. “I think they recognized very quickly that people could interpret that there was somehow some strong connection between the Argos and the mayor.”
Waite added that the Argos’ decision to release their statement through Twitter was smart since it allowed for quick retweeting.
The Argo’s weren’t the only football nuts asking for Mayor Ford to be sidelined from upcoming the CFL playoffs.
Hamilton’s Mayor Bob Bratina said he won’t be making any bets with the embattled mayor before Sunday’s game.
And on Wednesday the board of Toronto’s Santa Claus Parade asked Ford to “reconsider” his decision to march in the annual event. The board was told the mayor had decided not to walk the parade “due to recent events” in his life, but his office later announced that Ford has changed his mind.
“Our request is simple, we know the mayor loves the parade, but for this year let’s avoid this distraction and put the focus back on Santa and Mrs. Claus,” Co-chairman Ron Barbaro wrote in the letter to the mayor’s chief of staff.
It is not yet known if the mayor will show up at the parade, as a spectator, or with his family.