It was in last week’s game that Roughriders defensive lineman Garrett Marino acted on his own behalf in a way that was reckless, disturbing and absolutely unnecessary. I wrote a piece about it soon after it all transpired and since that game and Marino’s irresponsible act, the CFL Universe exploded with a chorus of anger and disappointment.
Perhaps nobody is more disappointed than Riders fans themselves, because they especially know that the way Marino acted is by no means what the Riders are about. Marino stepped out of the bounds of what the Riders are and the Rider Nation made that crystal clear since the game and the horrible event.
To refresh, Marino tackled Ottawa’s QB, Jeremiah Masoli, taking his wheels out from under him essentially, injuring the QB so badly that he had to be carried off the field by his Ottawa teammates. To further the confusion, there is never a need for such aggression on a CFL field, but the Riders were already way ahead by that point in the aforementioned game—the 4th quarter! It just furthers the ridiculousness of Marino’s actions that much more.
Well, as it turns out, the CFL agreed that the actions were awful and did not at all represent what the CFL is at its core; it was also in the days following that it came to light that Marino also made some racial slurs during what happened. The CFL made the following statement…the 4 suspensions are officially as follows:
-Two games for Marino’s dangerous and reckless low hit on Ottawa quarterback Jeremiah Masoli, and for Marino’s subsequent celebration. The hit resulted in a serious injury to Masoli and in Marino’s ejection from the game.
-One game for verbal comments Marino made about Masoli’s heritage — a violation of the league’s code of (c)onduct.
-One more game for Marino’s illegal and reckless tackle of an Ottawa offensive lineman on a previous play.
CFL commissioner, Randy Ambrosie, had this to add:
“This behavior has no place in our league…This discipline is intended to send a strong message that it will not be tolerated.”via Regina Leader-Post
Marino’s suspension starts this Saturday…and he can return on August 19th. Now, action was obviously taken, but since this news broke, many are asking the glaring question: Is 4 games enough for all that which was done by Marino? The 4-game suspension is the highest in league history according to many reports, but still…was it enough?
And what of Masoli?
According to a report by the Ottawa Sun yesterday, it is presumed that Masoli’s injury could be “bone-based” and not “ligament-based.” This isn’t great news, but it might mean that he may just be able to return this season as opposed to missing the entirety of the rest of the season. Hopefully that’s how it turns out.
And as for head coach of the Riders, Craig Dickenson, is concerned, he had the following statements to make about Marino’s actions:
“That’s not the way you want to finish a game…We were playing pretty good football the whole game and we really had a chance to close it out in style. It ended in a way that none of us wants. Garrett feels bad about it and we’ll have a discussion with him…We’ll do something to make sure that he understands that’s not how we play, that’s not what we coach, that’s not what we want to do and that’s not how we expect our team to play football…
The defense was upset that Pete got hurt and it got a little bit sloppy at the end. We have to take our share of the responsibility for that, which is a large share, and we’ll address it. Hopefully Jeremiah is OK and it isn’t a long-term injury, and hopefully the same for Pete. I’m sure the league will have something to say about it…I don’t know what they will do, but we’ll do something in-house as well.”via Regina Leader-Post
*The above statements were made a few days before the CFL decision….
Meanwhile the Riders are set to take on the Toronto Argonauts on Saturday July 16th at 2 PM EST and Ottawa are set to take on the Tiger-Cats on the same day at 5 PM EST.
*For news on the 2022 CFL Season: CFL News Hub
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