The CFL , the commissioner, and the league’s nine teams have released a raft of statements condemning racism.
This all follows on from the death of George Floyd, which happened in Minneapolis a week ago. We have probably all seen the harrowing images of a white police officer kneeling onto Mr Floyd’s neck whilst having him handcuffed and on the ground.
This has been a symbolic moment. Mr Floyd becoming the symbol at the heart of a series of protests across North America. And this past weekend here in the UK.
Initially the CFL was criticized by some for not responding sooner. When the league and its sources did respond however, they did so without equivocation.
What they said around the CFL
A league statement read: Just as we celebrate diversity, we in the Canadian Football League condemn racism in all of its forms, silent and systemic or blatant and violent. In particular, no person should fear for his or her freedom, safety, or life because of the colour of his or her skin.
Commissioner Randy Ambrosie made the following statement, “As we watch events unfold in the US this weekend, the CFL has issued a statement condemning racism. It’s also important to acknowledge that our country has its own problems with race and our league’s history is far from perfect, even if it is marked by many firsts for black athletes and coaches. I cannot pretend, coming from a place of privilege, to understand what it feels like for those whose lives are marked by the racism they must face every day. But I can stand with them. And I always will.”
CFLPA President Solomon Elimimian released this statement:
The nine CFL teams had these statements to make:
The Alouettes full statement can be found on their homepage here.
Actions Speak louder than words
It might be hard to find the right words. But sometimes it can prove harder for people to do the right thing.
The NFL has also released a statement in support of those protesting the death of George Floyd. Not least because it is the right thing to do.
But their words are overshadowed by their actions. In particular because of how they have approached the peaceful protesting of Colin Kaepernick.
Now is the right time for the CFL, teams, players and affiliates to speak out & to speak from the heart.
We love football. But football is a game and this is life. Life is so much more important than the NFL’s corporate approach. The CFL can keep doing the right things and I believe they will.
Let’s all stand together. Fans of the league and of every individual team. Regardless of race, language, ethnicity, sexual orientation, nationality or gender. Diversity is our strength. Let’s never forget that as we stand alongside each other.