League Responds To Ejected Reporter

By Paul Riley, NBL Canada Commissioner

(TORONTO, ON) – The National Basketball League of Canada subscribes to the Freedom of the Press as protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  Generally speaking, we do not condone the ejection of reporters from league venues, however the decision to grant or withhold a media pass is at the sole discretion of the home teams at their venue.

The Commissioner of the NBL, Paul Riley, was courtside for the Express-Lightning game at Caesars Windsor. Riley wondered aloud if the usual home of the Express was in the proper location. Photo by Ian Shalapata.

The Commissioner of the NBL, Paul Riley, seen here in a file photo provided an official response from NBL Canada regarding the ejection of a London Free Press reporter from the Express-Lightning game on 1 April 2014. Photo by Ian Shalapata.

With regards to the specific incident that occurred in Windsor on Tuesday night, the Windsor organization notified the London organization in writing on Monday that Mr Dalla Costa would not be granted a media pass for Tuesday night’s game, as they felt that he lacked journalistic integrity culminating from 2 years of ad hominen personal attacks at them, insulting their CEO, organization, attendance, etc – both in news articles and from his personal twitter account.

While the League regrets any inconvenience this caused Mr Dalla Costa, the incident would not have occurred in the manner that it did, had he not gone ahead and entered the building despite the prior notice.

I have been assured this was a one time event, and I personally would welcome Mr Dalla Costa to be my guest at the Finals game between Windsor and Charlottetown this Friday night, or have a sit down meeting with him to air issues at his convenience.

The NBL Canada values its fans, sponsors, and media partners and we are thrilled about the exciting future of the league.  We are anxiously awaiting what will be a fabulous Finals series between the Express and the Storm, and a tremendous All Star Weekend that is slated for Charlottetown April 19 and 20.


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About the Author

Ian Shalapata
Ian writes for and provides imagery to Square Media Group as well as accepting freelance photographic assignments. In addition, he has contributed to media organizations, sporting groups, and individuals across North America including the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, Chatham-Kent Sports Network, the Golf Association of Michigan, League 1 Ontario, as well as numerous colleges and universities in Canada and the United States. Email Ian Shalapata

2 Comments on "League Responds To Ejected Reporter"

  1. Honesty | 3 April 2014 at 08:44 |

    So what the management of the Windsor Express is saying if we don’t like what you write you will not be able to get a press pass. I thought everyone was entitled to their own opinion freedom of the press what happened, is Eddie controlling the Express. I think actions by the management of the Windsor Express denying this reporter entry to the game will only hurt their support base. I guess the management of the Windsor Express cannot take criticism, their skin is to thin, they need to learn to shake it off.

    • Ian Shalapata Ian Shalapata | 4 April 2014 at 12:53 |

      Quite the opposite.

      CEO Dartis Willis has expressed the understanding that with the job comes the need for a thick skin. He willingly accepts the good with the bad.

      However, as far as the opinions expressed by Morris Dalla Costa, his comments, his articles, and his tweets regularly crossed the line between professional journalism and hateful, personal comments that have no place in a sports piece.

      The point of Freedom of the Press is only raised by those with a vested interest in protecting their own skins. It is simply hyperbole to be making a Freedom issue out of this situation. It is very disingenuous and just a bit hypocritical when it comes from another sports reporter.

      The support for the decision has been overwhelming, including that from the League office.

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