Is The CFL Really Serious About Player Safety ?

Two games ago CJ Gable was maliciously and with intent speared via a head-to-head shot by Dylan Wynn of the Argos. It was not a bang-bang natural football play as some suggest. Theposition Wynn got into after Gable was already tackled could only be described as one that shows intent to injure another player. This type of tackling is not one that is taught by any coach anywhere. Yet was Wynn ejected? No.

As it has been CFL mansplained to the fan base, that the leaguetreats like fools, the zebras didn't think the foul was sever enough to eject Wynn. Yet, Wynn was called on Spearing which is a major foul under UnnecessaryRoughness which under Section 3 of the rulebook warrants a Disqualification.

A player shall be disqualified from the game, and substitution permitted, for any act of serious misconduct, including but not limited to:

A player who has been disqualified from the game shall be required to leave the bench area and not permitted to return.

So if a Spearing, a major foul that is not considered a football play by the rulebook, that injures another player does not warrant a disqualification what does? More importantly what message doesthis send to the players? Certainly not one that player safety is paramount.

In a leaguethat has limited pads in practice to send the message that concussions must be limited and that player safety is important to not eject a player for spearing ... well, that certainly is a mixed message. Then to only suspend Wynn for 1 game sends a further message of business as usual and RandyAmbrosie is the biggest B.S.'er to ever be the CFL Commissioner. So why did Ambrosiedo it ... why limit padded practices and then not hold players accountable for dirty play? Well, kiddies it is simply a CYA effort to cover the CFL from being sued again over concussions. Yet, the Gable injury and resulting flub just opens up the CFL to get sued yet again as consistency is the key.

Some will argue 1 game is a big deal, but really it cost Wynn about $3500 to $4500 in lost salary. Maybe if it cost the CFL a few $100K to defend against another concussion lawsuitthe Commish and his supporters mightget it. However, for the fans, there is a bigger factor. The players we have come to love like Gable have their time in the CFL shortened by dirty play. It happened to Matt Dunigan, ArlandBruce and many others.

Now with another Spring leaguethreat in the Alliance of American Football launching nextFebruary the bigger threat is that players will jump from the CFL to the AAF to earn as much money as possible while healthy. If players see the CFL treating them like a piece of meat and the AAF would do the same, but pay them more and they get to stay near home ... well, it is an easy choice for U.S. born players. What the Commish needs to is be more Canadian and show the CFL cares more about the health of the players. The Wynn on Gable spearing incident and its handling does nothing to send that message.