SPORTS
07/17/2015 08:38 am ET Updated Dec 28, 2016

Lots Of Canadians Don't Want Kanye West To Close The Pan Am Games

A petition has already racked up over 35,000 signatures.

Canada, a nation whose border security has been known to deprive residents of quality hip-hop acts, has now taken a stance against perhaps the biggest rapper of them all: Kanye West. 

Early Wednesday morning, Minnesota Timberwolves forward and Toronto native Anthony Bennett told the world that Kanye West would be playing at the closing ceremony of the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto on July 26. 

By that afternoon, the news was confirmed. And soon enough, there was a Change.org petition demanding his removal from the closing ceremony's bill because, well, Kanye's not Canadian. 

The petition had already racked up over 35,000 signatures by early Friday morning. Canadians (and perhaps people of other nationalities) really don't want Kanye to perform. 

Even Toronto Mayor John Tory has objected, telling reporters at a Wednesday press conference that he wished the artist chosen to headline the ceremony had "been a Canadian.

Protestors would like to see a Torontonian or Canadian perform (Drake, The Weeknd and deadmau5 were suggested as replacements)."Why was a local artist or group not chosen and supported, just as our local athletes are throughout the games?" asked Allen Simans, the creator of the Change.org petition.

But let's take a step back. If the games, which are held every four years as an "Olympics of the Americas," were the "Canadian Games," then protesters would have an argument. But the Pan Am games are, well, just that: Pan-American. Kanye is American. This works. 

So too is Pitbull, a Cuban-American musical act on the bill with Kanye. Both Americans will perform at the Closing Ceremony, but Pitbull is cool to cross and Kanye's not? Get it together, Canada. Kanye's great and American and you're great and geographically above the United States. The Pan Am games are for all residents of the Americas -- not just Torontonians. 

What's really going on here? Why do thousands of Canadians hate Kanye? His seminal album, 808s & Heartbreakis the only reason Drake exists to begin with. Shouldn't they be welcoming the father of their hip-hop messiah with open arms and fresh poutine?

Kanye West performs on the main Pyramid stage during the Glastonbury music festival on Saturday, June 27, 2015 at Worthy Farm
Joel Ryan/Invision/AP
Kanye West performs on the main Pyramid stage during the Glastonbury music festival on Saturday, June 27, 2015 at Worthy Farm, Glastonbury, England. (Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP)

 Kanye West performs at Glastonbury on June 28.

Other copycat petitions have peeled back stronger feelings of resentment towards Kanye. One petition writes, "Kanye West is an American singer, rapper, songwriter and husband to Kim Kardashian ... I believe his moral and ethical compass is not aligned with values that most Canadians adhere to."

Another provided a truly non-sensical, but equally revealing reason: "Because it's Kanye West ... Have you heard him? The Universe 'can't even' with this guy."

Ah, now we're getting somewhere. It's not just that Kanye's not Canadian -- it's that some Canadians flat-out don't like the guy. There's no separation of the art from the artist being processed here, which is problematic, especially when we're talking about one of the greatest artists of the century. Canada, let's make this work.  

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