The sad story of ex-CFLer Jonathon Hefney, Arrested for selling Cocaine

Former Bombers teammates lament severe injury that led Jonathan Hefney down road to prison sentence for cocaine trafficking

Hefney had surgery on his chest and neck in 2016, which cost him $88,000 U.S., but was mostly covered by the insurance from his employer, the Alouettes, until 2015.
The surgery on his shoulder and arm in 2018 cost $80,000 and there have been many other costs associated with his recovery. The CFL insurance ran out exactly 12 months after the day he suffered his injury.

Yipe! Both frightening and sad.


This is truly sad.
There was a time when he first played for the BB where I thought he was the best CB I ever saw in the CFL give or take Davis Sanchez.

What good will a 9 year sentence serve? Not to be answered of course.

Brutal. Football is scary. Playing football with limited medical insurance is even scarier.

I feel sorry for his situation. It can’t be easy going through all that with such enormous medical bills. Thank goodness such surgeries are covered in Canada. And fortunately the new CBA would help future players in this situation, though that doesn’t help him.

But a lot of Americans run up huge medical costs and don’t turn to crime. You hear of people losing their homes and their life savings because of expensive surgeries like his. There is more honour in homelessness than in drug trafficking, even though I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

Hefney's story and that fine article go well beyond football.

We have a sham of a healthcare system in the US. Many like me now are going through the annual drill of uncertainty, whether employed or not, that comes with selecting health insurance. Of course a decade ago the promises were to eliminate this annual charade.

The only other financially viable option for too many, given the daunting medical costs and a life of debt, is personal bankruptcy.

Medical costs are the top cause of it in the US.

Sure what Hefney did was wrong, but to judge him without considering the facts and bigger picture is shallow at best.

And stories like this are the case for thousands of working Americans hurt also not at work in any given accident each year.

Bankruptcy often leads folks down dark roads and is not a way out either after what's left of yours, but for a few exceptions, is taken by creditors.

Hold my beer. I’ve done neither, but I take great exception to this judgemental comment.

I know folks who have been one of those or both.

And they survived and paid a heavy price anyway. Many don’t. Many of their friends are dead.

But if you have not been either, just who are you to judge what truly is better for folks with far, far fewer real choices in their youth if not now especially with family to support? And guess what, those who don’t pay for their kids go to jail anyway.

It’s easy from afar where comfortable now to make such a judgement call isn’t it? We’re not talking Cartel brutality here either.

Consider the background also from which many of these players come including the routine deaths of many young men like them as well.

I choose to take a step back before passing judgement. And I don’t agree judgement ought be so indiscriminate though I don’t think that was your intent in making such a statement.

Sorry Paolo but his statement is accurate.

A homeless person has more honour because he/she does NOT inflict a liftetime of pain and misery on others, which is what drug dealers do.

I’m not surprised you as an attorney would feel that way.

My jury is out. Go on with your judgement in advance then before anyone is charged.

They"ll deal with adverse legal consequences one way or the other.

Meanwhile many fans like you know nothing of their situations at home when you watch them play.

…I’m not an attorney and totally agree with MadJack…

…being poor doesn’t justify engaging in criminal actions…

But being poor does not justify such indiscriminate judgement from afar either.

From letter of the law I concur. That's not my debate.

On the indiscriminate moral judgement from folks who know neither and have been neither I sure don't and won't.

We'll have to agree to disagree.

remember, up until recently cannabis was illegal.

I know many folks who sold pot to make ends meet.

There was absolutely nothing wrong with these people.

As alluded to in the fine article linked, which I hope many more read, some of the difference in views might be explained in the mere differences in how each country deals with homelessness.

In the US we do an overall poor job and in most cities and states. Of course there is the vast narrative for another site on why and how, and yes indeed a great part of the discussion is the thriving drug trade and all the various fraudsters.

In Florida literally, where when the homeless arrive they don’t leave, they are washed out with every hurricane if they manage not to be incarcerated for whatever that is not drug dealing.

Though kept out of the homer media for which everything is great but for that lead story that bleeds, many are either in agricultural transient accommodations or in tent camps.

In Canada perhaps you do better in dealing with the homeless such that said status appears immediately better especially to those who have never been in that situation, adding care for children into the picture, or have never known personally anyone in it. I could certainly appreciate if the homeless indeed are treated and handled better in Canada.

There is so many things I find morally wrong in this whole mess.

A guy is recruited to a job to play ball in Canada
He comes and gets bodily thrashed in many ways
He has virtually life saving surgery and Canada and employer pays
He has to return home with very little money and insurance has run out.
Many more surgeries to come
Canada and his employer are off the hook for remaining costs
He turns to selling drugs to cover costs
He is busted and now ends up in jail.

Just seems wrong on so many levels

Someone said new CBA covers this to some degree. How?

…back up a bit there Paolo and read what I wrote, I’m not judging anyone for being poor, that would be a terrible thing to do…I’m saying resorting to criminal activities because you’re poor isn’t right, and I’ll judge that from afar all day long…

And maybe you ought consider the differences as I describe in our countries too and back up as well.

Why not examine the other choices they have more closely first instead of rendering judgement? Especially if you do not personally know someone in such a situation or have not lived it (and survived against very high odds)?

Maybe you go back far enough to this song well ahead of its time as well as the artist. It goes many levels deep and “The Bottle” is a metaphor and symbol amongst more

Every major city has parts as described. Cheap access to cheap wine leads and has led to worse.

Let’s note that the heroin trade was thriving in largely only the biggest cities at the time.

Look now at our mess with opioid addiction.

The bottom line is there are so many levels overlooked by those who are quick to judge irrespective of the letter of the law on which overwhelmingly most agree.

Back in 1974, the heroin trade was thriving in the big cities. Here we are in 2019 with a thriving opioid trade. Why?

“Why?” ought be asked before judgement is made from the comforts from afar.

The young men in neighbourhoods, such as described in the song even from 1974, have played and play on those fields against high odds. Yet here we are with more than Jonathan Hefney and so many judges today.

That fact says much.

Paolo the only disagreement to which I was referring was your disagreeing with BigDave when he wrote that homeless people have more honour than drug traffickers.

And I agree with him.

It has nothing to do with my profession (or, rather, former profession).

It has everything to do with the fact that homeless people do not as a general rule inflict pain and misery on other people and their families. Drug traffickers do.

If you can’t see the difference then I feel sorry for you.

Okay then nothing to do with your profession sure, whatever, though most attorneys, judges, law enforcement, etc share the view perhaps beyond strict letter of law - we’ll have to disagree when that is just not far more than my experience.

Don’t feel sorry for me or patronize me bro.

Keep your robes on your bench and I am not in your court.

You can get lost if you have to move beyond arguing the point.

In some good news, apparently the players are negotiating a longer period of insurance for former players. Hefney's situation was cited as well.

The insurance period is proposed to increase to two years and later to three.

It's progress.

On a larger scale we have so much more to do for the injured and sick here in the US much as you all do better in Canada.

So we are clear Paolo. . . my position is that homeless people do not as a general rule inflict pain and misery on other people and their families, whereas drug traffickers do, and for that reason a homeless person has more honour than a drug trafficker.

If you disagree with that, would you mind explaining why?