COMMISSIONER ORRIDGE STATEMENT ON SIGNING OF KHALIF MITCHELL

Media-Release-Heading-ENGThursday, September 1, 2016 — TORONTO (September 1, 2016) — Statement from Canadian Football League Commissioner, Jeffrey L. Orridge on recent signing of Khalif Mitchell:

There is absolutely no place in our league for commentary used to divide or disparage people on the basis of their religion, race, gender or sexual orientation. Such commentary not only may bring the CFL into disrepute; it can promote hate today and dishonour all those who have been subjected to hate over the course of history.

Our social media policy expressly prohibits a current player, team or league employee from using social media, including the retweeting or reposting of someone else’s comments, to condone discrimination, harassment or violence. This is why in May, 2015, this league fined Khalif Mitchell, then in the employ of a CFL club, for violating our policy. It is also why, at that time, our office helped broker a meeting for him with a representative of B’Nai Brith Canada, to facilitate his education on human rights matters.

Since Mitchell has now returned to our league, with another club, his new employer has reached out to the league office to assure us they too take this matter very seriously and any such inappropriate behaviour from Mitchell will result in his immediate dismissal. We too will monitor any commentary he may make as a member of our League.  We fully acknowledge that our employees, including our players, have a right to hold and express opinions. But in absolutely no circumstance do we condone activity or comments that are derogatory or inappropriate. Such comments, which put the League’s reputation as a progressive and positive member of the community in question, will not be tolerated.

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