One cannot say that the 2022 CFL Season has not been eventful. In the fallout of what occurred on the field last week in the game between the Ottawa Redblacks and the Saskatchewan Roughriders—a terrible hit and subsequent verbal aggression from Marino to Masoli that was apparently racial in its scope—both head coach Craig Dickenson and Garrett Marino made public statements…as did a public statement emerge from the Riders themselves.
In defense of the racial allegations thrown Marino’s way, Craig Dickenson got himself into a wee bit of hot water and needed to apologize publically…he at first seeming to belittle the allegations. In his apology, he stated that his previous comments were insensitive.
Masoli himself called the Riders head coach out for his previous statements, stating that they were indeed insensitive. Dickenson had this to say on his own behalf:
“Now what I said maybe about trying to defend Garrett maybe wasn’t relevant but it certainly came from a good spot…I don’t know if I can even reach out to a player on another team, I think that’s tampering. But maybe in this instance I should’ve called him? I don’t have his number so I was hoping we could relay how we felt about it through their coaches and GM.”via CTV
He further said in another statement to the press:
“I attempted to defend his character amid accusations that he said something racially or culturally insensitive by pointing out that he has many close friends who are Black and a long-term girlfriend who is also Black. I realize this comment is insensitive and irrelevant to the conversation. I apologize for this comment…”via CTV (link below)
As reports have shown, Masoli is probably going to be out for the next ten to twelve weeks…he has made a public statement to all that’s transpired:
“It’s sad that the hate and racist attitudes and racial insults are going to be punished with a slap on the wrist…One game for racial insults is simply not enough in my opinion and hopefully, we can use this to promote growth and change for the better…
I’ve seen the poor and uninformed excuses given by Saskatchewan’s Head Coach and no apology from Garrett Marino, Coach Dickenson, or any executive from Saskatchewan…After playing 12 games already with a previous ejection and two fines before this incident, it is clear Garrett Marino cannot control himself…
The welfare and safety of CFL players do matter and we should not have to worry about those who consistently cannot play within the rules…In the CFL we say our diversity is our strength, so there should be no place for the racial hate…”via CTV (Transcription)
As for Marino himself, this is the statement he made…
“I want to apologize for my actions that day, as I understand that they have no place in the game of football…I also apologize to Jeremiah Masoli of the Ottawa Redblacks, as I did not intend to injure him. I have tried over the past few days to connect with him directly and will continue to do so. Regarding the comments I made during the game, I regret that I said them, as I now understand their consequences…
This was not my intent when speaking on the field, nor is it ever my intent in my day-to-day life. I know I play the game with an edge, and during the game I made an insensitive and culturally stereotypical remark. I now understand this was hurtful to my peers and I hope I can be forgiven for that misunderstanding…
I take pride in being a good teammate and a valued member of the Saskatchewan Roughriders Football Club. I did not intend for my comments or actions to be hurtful, and I take solace in my teammates, knowing that I stand with all of them, regardless of race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. I will not be commenting on this matter again but will be working to better myself as I serve this discipline and prepare to rejoin my teammates on the field.”via TSN (Transcription)
As I reported last time, the CFL has decided to suspend Marino 4 games…an amount that seemed a tad too lenient—despite the fact that it was the first time someone was suspended for so many games—to some….
Marino has decided not to contest those days, taking his punishment on the chin, as they say, but is it too late? Has the damage been done? Many feel that yes it most definitely has, and a dark cloud has been placed over the team and Marino himself. Some people would say there’s no coming back from something like this.
In the end Masoli felt wronged and abused and he most definitely was. There’s absolutely no denying that, and he is justified in however far he decides to take this if he so chooses to take it further; his prerogative.
The Roughriders did their part with a statement they themselves made officially and it is a tad more appropriate as opposed to Dickenson’s original offering according to many, which as stated above, only made things worse sadly.
“The Saskatchewan Roughriders extend its sincerest apologies to quarterback Jeremiah Masoli and have expressed those apologies to several members of the Ottawa Redblacks…We wish him a smooth and speedy recovery. The comments and actions of Garrett Marino on July 8th do not represent who we are as an organization or the work we do in the Saskatchewan community.
The club will be making a donation to the Redblacks Mentorship Program in Jeremiah Masoli’s name. The program connects at-risk youth who have experienced racism and discrimination with mentors and provides encouragement, support. guidance, and strategies for youth to reach their Fullest potential.”via TSN (link above)
We here at the CFL News Hub wish Masoli a speedy convalescence and a quick return to the field.