Reporter kicked out of World Cup game for wearing rainbow shirt has died in Qatar. His gay brother said foul play in since deleted post


Reporter kicked out of World Cup game for wearing rainbow shirt has died in Qatar. His brother believes there was foul play


US sports reporter Grant Wahl, 48, who went viral after being kicked out of a World Cup game by Qatari officials for wearing a rainbow T-shirt, has suddenly died.

According to NPR, Wahl collapsed as Friday’s Argentina-Netherlands match was winding down. Paramedics performed CPR at the scene before taking him away on a stretcher. The Wall Street Journal said Wahl apparently suffered a heart attack.

Wahl, who covered American and world soccer on his Substack, CBS Sports, NBC News and previously worked for Sports Illustrated, was ‘healthy’ before he collapsed during a game Friday, according to brother Eric in an Instagram video he posted, to a page which has since been removed.

Soccer journalist Grant Wahl
Soccer journalist Grant Wahl works in the FIFA media center before a match on Nov. 21. Wahl died after collapsing in the press box at Lusail Stadium in Qatar while covering the Argentina-Netherlands match Friday.(Doug Zimmerman / ISI Photos via Getty Images)

His agent, Tim Scanlan, told the New York Times that Wahl had gone into acute distress in the final minutes of a quarterfinal match, which he was covering from the press tribune.


Wahl’s brother, who is gay, said:

‘I am the reason he wore the rainbow shirt to the world cup. I do not believe my brother just died, I believe he was killed.’



Grant Wahl had spoken about feeling unwell during an episode of his podcast – Futbol with Grant Wahl – recorded Thursday.

He said on the podcast: ‘My body finally broke down on me. Three weeks of little sleep, high stress and lots of work can do that to you. What had been a cold over the last 10 days turned into something more severe on the night of the USA-Netherlands game, and I could feel my upper chest take on a new level of pressure and discomfort.’


Wahl wrote that he tested negative for COVID-19 and sought treatment for his symptoms.

‘I went into the medical clinic at the main media center today, and they said I probably have bronchitis. They gave me a course of antibiotics and some heavy-duty cough syrup, and I’m already feeling a bit better just a few hours later. But still: No bueno,’ he wrote.




Support us

As a new and independent LGBTQ+ publication, we rely on support to keep the lights on. We really appreciate anything you can afford - it helps keep us active, afloat and free to all. If you got something from the site today, why not buy us a coffee?


You might be intersted in...