Renowned sports journalist Grant Wahl passed away on Friday, Dec. 9, while covering the semifinal match between Argentina and the Netherlands in Doha, Qatar.
Several media outlets reported that the American collapsed while in the press box at Luasil Stadium. The cause of death has yet to be confirmed.
Prior health issues
Four days before Wahl died, it was reported that the journalist sought help at a Qatari medical clinic, believing he had bronchitis due to a "tightness" he felt in his chest. At that time, health experts prescribed cough syrup and ibuprofen, which helped relieve the symptoms.
"My organism finally became indisposed. Three weeks of little sleep, high blood pressure and a heavy workload can do this to you. What had been a cold for the past 10 days became more severe the night of the U.S.-Netherlands game, and I could feel a new level of pressure and discomfort in my upper chest," he said at the time.
However, the sports correspondent's brother, Eric Wahl, posted a video on social media highlighting that, in his opinion, his brother's death was not accidental.
According Eric Wahl's video, his brother told him that he had received intimidating messages.
"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," he said in a shaky voice. He also mentioned, that he is gay, and that he was "the reason [Grant Wahl] wore the rainbow shirt to the World Cup."
Absolutely bone chilling stuff
Soccer journalist Grant Wahl who was kicked out of a stadium in QATAR for this shirt has reportedly collapsed and passed away during the Argentina game today
His brother says on Instagram that Grant was fully healthy & believes there’s foul play pic.twitter.com/t47C2XfuVl
— JACK SETTLEMAN (@jacksettleman) December 10, 2022
Rainbow shirt incident
Grant Wahl used his platform to publicly question and criticize the location chosen for this World Cup. In one video, he even mentioned having difficulty entering one of the stadiums for wearing a rainbow-colored shirt representing gay pride.
Grant said he was detained for just under half an hour and during that time the guards told him he had to change his shirt and even yelled at him.
The journalist assured that he did not give in and that when he posted what happened on Twitter, stadium authorities "forcibly took [his] phone."