Canadians Share Experiences in the LFA

Great article regarding insight into the league's 2.0 initiative from a player's perspective:

24 Canadian players suited up for The Liga de Fútbol Americano Profesional (LFA). Here are some of the experiences by the players who played in Mexico:

All Canadians drafted to the LFA were signed to Mexican contracts through the CFL. The terms were clear — transportation, healthcare, food, and lodging were all to be included.

“The owners were supposed to pick us up and drive us to practice,” said Kelly. “Unfortunately, for the first five or six practices they were late for almost every single one. It was frustrating because we’d show up (fifteen to thirty minutes) late and we didn’t have time to warm-up our bodies. We just had to jump into practice.”

“I didn’t have a helmet or shoulder pads for the first three weeks of practices,” said Friesen, a linebacker out of the University of British Columbia. “They have live practices and drills with lots of hitting. The coaches wanted me to hit guys without gear. They were like, ‘Brad, get in there!’ but I wasn’t going to hit anyone without gear.”

“They’d scream at me for not knowing the assignments, but the playbook wasn’t finished and they would change things without telling me,” said Friesen. “None of the defensive coaches spoke English, so I wasn’t given any help.”

“I found out after training camp when we had our team meeting with myself, the head coach, the owner, and the offensive coordinator that the reason they drafted me was to be a backup quarterback,” said Kelly. “They had no intention of me actually becoming the starter or getting playing time, really.”

“We were supposed to be getting fed and that was a bit of an issue,” said Morris. “They’d tell us our breakfast would come at nine or ten (o’clock) and it would be there after lunch. So our lunch would come even later and our dinner would come even later.

And then things got serious.

“Their team doctor tried to stick a needle in my arm without asking consent,” said Kelly. “Essentially, I was talking to the therapist and the doctor came up behind me and kind of grabbed my arm and put a needle in it.

They said their drugs were just like the NFL. When I refused to take them they were like, ‘What, you don’t want to go to the NFL?'”

Morris doesn’t believe any Canadian players received all of their paycheques on time. Friesen didn’t receive his final paycheque from the Raptors until he’d been back in Canada for two months.

Yikes.

[https://3downnation.com/2020/10/14/drugs-covid-19-smash-mouth-football-five-canadians-share-their-experiences-in-the-lfa/]

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Typical whiney millennials. They were down in Mexico to play football, not for a vacation. The LFA is a semi-pro league that has been around for 5 years, what'd they expect? The Dallas Cowboys? Most of their complaints could be fixed. I understand the issue about the unwanted injection, rightfully so. The CFL should look into that grievance. But the other complaints were minor

Friesen should've taken his own equipment with him. Even when you play elite Hockey, you always bring your own equipment. Anyway, I think the LFA team was testing Friesen's toughness by seeing if takes orders and can withstand practice drills without gear. He failed to measure up and became the team gringo whipping boy. Lot of blaming by Friesen for his failure.

Kelly just quit on the team. He got upset when the team only wanted him as backup. Kelly could've used the opportunity to contribute elsewhere on the team like special teams, wide receiver or safety. Kelly had a sense of entitlement because he played college ball.

If I was a football coach I wouldn't want them on my team. But this isn't indicative of CFL 2.0 being a failure. It was the individuals involved that couldn't rise above a challenge before them

I don’t know about your reply, DaveDaHammer. Unless it’s sarcasm, I find it a disturbing response to some serious shortfalls on the part of Mexican club owners and officials? I mean full contact drills without equipment, especially helmets? Unsolicited and unexplained injections? Creepy stuff.

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Es hora de terminar con esta farsa .

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Kids these days....

Wanting helmets AND shoulder pads for contact drills? Who do they think they are? The team should have made them pick either/or but not BOTH.
If they got hurt, they could have gotten a mystery injection and walked it off, and carried on like in the old days

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I stand behind my reply. The Mexican owners still fulfilled the their obligations to the agreed arrangement. he players got paid, they weren't stiffed like the players from the AAF

The Mexican coach was trying to find out if Friesen was tough enough to go a few drills without equipment. Friesen balked and it showed to the coach that Friesen wasn't tough. It a player's duty to fit within the team, bleed or go through pain. you win over your teammates and coaches.

I don't didn't like the unwanted injections. That was crossing the line

The practice drill was a test to see if Friesen was tough enough to go a few rounds. Friesen failed. The Mexican team held back the equipment. If he had participated in the drill without equipment, they would've produced them.

My nephew played in the GFL2 for 2 years. he managed through it. He coped with the language barrier. His German was better than his Qjibwe. He made friends over there. My nephew's German teammate even came over and visited him when he done playing

Not the first time he blames outright the wrong players - he's serious!

More of your "blame the player totally" garbage.

You should audition for Gran Torino II. You seem like a dead ringer for the part already!

Players have to play. It will always be up to them. The players have to leave it on the playing field and practice field.

The dissenters shouldn't go whining to Justin Dunk and 3 DownNation, suck it up and prove you are worthy of playing pro football.

Anyway, you'll never hear from these guys again with all the bellyaching they had done embarrassing the LFA, a partner of the CFL

Worst was the Raptors because they were against having the Canadians to begin with, but some players on other teams had a positive experience.

Life can be a little different for an athlete once they leave Canada or US.
I was involved with some Professional Basketball in Europe.

most teams are owned by a wealthy local biz guy
no unions
contracts can be iffy
players often get paid late
owners would threaten not to pay if you are in a slump
teams are allowed 2 imports so you had to perform. imports are generally US NCAA guys or Canadians

Sometimes the imports didn't appreciate the different methods used.

To expand this a bit. Areas of disagreements:
-Euro coaches want peak conditioning. Players are long distance running all the time
-Often players would run barefoot. Many coaches believe Western players have weak ankles due to reliance on high tech shoes.
-players need to master the game of BB not just 1 position. Big men need to run, dribble and shoot
-often players practice without a ball
-some players hated Europe-no walmarts, different customs

  • teams would demand that players being involved in community events
  • countries like Austria, Germany really follow instruction. You do not jay walk you wait for lights
    -for most players this is their first exposure to not have the dominant language or culture, But English is widely used. Many Black players from the hood had some difficulties adjusting to be so far from their elements. Some however are beloved and they have really embraced it
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Seriously? Guess you provide everything for yourself when you may get a job and if they don’t pay you, that’s ok too
They signed agreements that were not held up

Serious as a heart attack, Keener. The obligations were fulfilled in the end. If any LFA team stiffed any Canadian player, they would have ended the agreement between them and the CFL, then and there.

You don't make a career playing football in Mexico. That is why the players and coaches have second jobs. The CFL/LFA deal was for developing as a pro football player. to get some reps in and have some film on them for CFL brass to gauge their development

I know one of the players
Nothing came as agreed to for any of them
It needs a lot of work if they plan to continue it

But they got paid in the end, is all that matters. Sure there were delays as how they explained it, but the obligations were fulfilled in the end. But things in Mexico runs on Mexican time.

But if they quit on their team because they had a sense of entitlement and bitched about their experience to Dunk. not to be their expectations, I can't respect their decision.

Play the hand that was dealt to you and play some football. Try to make the best of the situation. It was only for a few months of their time, they weren't committed to the Mexican team for several years.

The complaining might've killed their football careers

Let’s be honest anyone I know including myself if I was hired for a job and it was all bs I would not stay
If someone asked me if it was worthwhile I would answer honestly no
To put your body on the line for nothing would make anyone reconsider. As the young man I know decided to not be fodder for nothing.
These guys aren’t the only ones. Many playing hockey or football are considering the long term risks against possible opportunities And are deciding it’s not worth it
Even some NFLers did not want to risk things during Covid
To continue this agreement it must be made more transparent and enforced

It's easy to walk away from a job, buts it more difficult to walk away from a career when contracts are involved.

The whiners failed to see that they were ambassadors of the CFL and Canada. They were pioneers of a unique situation for Canadian Football. They could've been trailblazers, but instead bridge burners. We'll never hear from these guys anymore.

I imagine Randy had a discussion with the LFA President already. The problems can easily be resolved. The issues that Kelly and Friesen encountered aren't deal breakers