When the British punk rock band The Clash wrote Should I Stay or Should I Go back in the early 1980s, they likely didn’t realize they were crafting Kawhi Leonard’s anthem for the 2018-19 season.
The superstar came north of the border from the San Antonio Spurs last summer in a trade that revolved around Toronto fan-favourite DeMar DeRozan. With only one year remaining of Leonard’s contract, the move by the organization was quite the statement: the Raptors were going for it this year.
With the Raptors currently taking on the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference final, it appears the decision has worked out quite well. However, the question of whether or not #HeStay or he’ll go has been one asked, speculated and joked about by fans for months.
Unwilling to just sit around and see if the 27-year-old will stay in Toronto after this playoff run, fans and restaurant owners have come together to do what they can to get “The Claw” to put pen to a new contract with the Raptors.
Led by the efforts of Raptors Republic, the “Ka’wine and Dine” initiative was launched by restaurants in the city earlier this week. By signing up to support the cause, local establishments promise to provide Leonard with free food for life if he re-signs with the Raptors.
If you thought the initiative was good, you’ll likely enjoy the slogan even more: “Wine’m, Dine’m, Let’s Re-sign’m.”
"We want to rally the city to do everything we can to let Kawhi know that we support him, want him here long-term and ultimately make him feel at home in Toronto," Raptors Republic marketing and social media head Adam Robles told BlogTO. "He may need a warm coat, but he won't need his wallet.”
People are already getting on board as Bar Hop Bar, Moo Frites, Rodney’s Oyster House and Le Select Bistro have pledged their allegiance to the cause, according to the Instagram page for the movement.
(Can we call this a movement? I’m going to go ahead and say yes.)
Most of these place have signed up within the last 24 hours and there’s no reason to believe the wave of support will be coming to an end anytime soon.
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