• Suncorp Stadium, where the incident took place over the weekend. (NITV)Source: NITV
Biri/South Sea Islander man says he and his son were the only two people asked to produce their tickets in the corporate box.
By
Douglas Smith

20 Apr 2021 - 4:42 PM  UPDATED 20 Apr 2021 - 4:44 PM

An Indigenous father claims he was racially profiled during an NRL game at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium over the weekend.

Joshua Henaway and his son were sitting in a corporate box at the Broncos vs Panthers game when a security guard approached them and asked to see their tickets. 

He claims no one else in the corporate area was asked to produce their tickets to security, and that he and his son were targeted due to the colour of their skin. 

“To single us out, to say that we’re trying to sneak into an area like that, for starters, why would I go sit in an area where no one is surrounding (us), I’m gonna be seen quite easily,” Mr Henaway told NITV News. 

“The biggest thing I think was the embarrassment when I saw the look in my son’s eyes.”

Following the incident, Mr Henaway filed a complaint against the security guard for his conduct, alleging racial profiling. 

In the letter, Mr Henaway said despite being a lifelong Broncos fan, if his complaint were not adequately dealt with he would never attend a game at Suncorp Stadium again. 

"This is not about free tickets or memberships, this is about bringing about CHANGE, education and a stop to stereotyping of POC... I am deeply saddened that in 2021 I have had to write this letter and express my hurt embarrassment and anger by this type of treatment." 

In a response to the official complaint, General Manager of Suncorp Stadium, Alan Graham said there was an earlier occurrence of patrons attempting to sneak into the corporate seating area before they were asked to leave.

"As you and your son were the closest group to the aisle, it was logical for them to approach you first with a polite, reasonable, and legitimate request to see your tickets," said Mr Graham.

"It is unfortunate you did interpret the request in the way you did but we do not believe there is any basis for the allegations you have made of racial discrimination by the Stadium or any of our staff."

Speaking to NITV News today, Mr Henaway said he was "fuming" at the response of Suncorp Stadium, but was unsure of taking the matter further. 

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