CFL and CFLPA pledge to strengthen anti-racism policy as Marino apologizes to Masoli

The CFL and CFLPA said in a joint statement that they will work urgently to strengthen and clarify their joint policy on racism and racial discrimination.

« The CFL and CFLPA have jointly committed to a policy of zero tolerance for any form of racism or racial discrimination and signified their commitment in writing during the last round of labor negotiations, » the statement read.

« We have agreed to strengthen our commitment as a matter of urgency by agreeing to further define and agree on all matters arising out of this joint commitment so that the CFL and ACPFT – and through them, the wider community of Canadian professional football – have more clarity and certainty moving forward.”

The league’s handling of racial discrimination cases has come under the microscope following an incident between Roughriders lineman Garrett Marino and Redblacks quarterback Jeremiah Masoli during a game last week, when Masoli suffered a serious leg injury from a kick by Marino and had to be carried off. field. Marino was ejected from the game but could be seen taunting Masoli before returning to the locker room.

The CFL subsequently suspended Marino’s four games, including one specifically « for verbal comments Marino made about Masoli’s legacy during the game, which clearly violates our code of conduct. »

After the suspension was announced, Roughriders head coach Craig Dickenson said he didn’t think Marino was being racist and that part of the suspension « might be a little over the top ».

Masoli responded to Dickenson’s suspension and comment with his own statement.

« It’s sad that hatred, racist attitudes and racial slurs are punished with a slap on the wrist, » Masoli wrote. « A racial slur game is just not enough in my opinion and I hope we can use it to promote growth and change for the better. We need to protect the integrity of the game. »

The Roughriders issued an apology to Masoli and the Redblacks on Wednesday, saying they will donate in the quarterback’s name to the Redblacks’ mentorship program.

« Garrett Marino’s comments and actions on July 8 do not represent who we are as an organization or the work we do in the Saskatchewan community, » the statement read.

The Roughriders also shared a statement from Marino, who confirmed he would not appeal his suspension and apologized to Masoli and Redblacks.

« I want to apologize for my actions that day as I understand they have no place in football, » Marino’s statement read. « Regarding the comments I made during the game, I regret having said them, as I now understand their consequences. »


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