Riders missed the signs when it came to Justin Cox

There are bad men in football.

Justin Cox is one of those bad men. He was cut by the Saskatchewan Roughriders following his third arrest for domestic violence. Saskatchewan’s rookie-of-the-year in 2016, Cox’s character had apparently been reviewed by the Roughriders before they recruited him. They saw a good player; they somehow didn’t see the bad man who likes to beat up women.

Let’s not paint everyone with the same brush. Every football team, every front office, every league is full of superb people. Community leaders. Volunteers. Fund-raisers. Players and executives who set the right example. Because they far outweigh the bad men and it would be unfair to mention them in comparison, their names won’t appear here.

But as in society, there are still too many people like Cox, who had been charged with aggravated domestic violence during his college career and again while trying to make the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs. Kansas City also released him immediately afterwards.

Upon joining the Roughriders, Cox refused to publicly address his past while the CFL was implementing tougher rules against domestic violence. Cox played so well as a defensive back in 15 games for the Roughriders last year he was signed to a two-year contract extension in the offseason.

The next time Cox’s name appeared in a Roughriders press release, the community-owned franchise cited the CFL’s “Policy on Violence Against Women” while announcing his release for a recent incident in Regina. Cox subsequently tweeted his thanks to the Riders for letting him play, his apologies and “The truth only will be known by those that were there during the incident.”

Maybe it’s because of football’s inherent violence that there seems to be an abundance of players like Ray Rice, Trevis Smith and Greg Hardy, each of whom is now rightfully known more for assaulting women than for their athletic prowess. But there are bad men everywhere.

Steve Stephens, the Facebook killer in Cleveland, is no worse than Aaron Hernandez, the former NFL player whose involvement in seven murders — and a guilty finding on a first-degree charge — earned him a life sentence.

They killed men, the worst assault imagineable. One murderer just happened to play football. Stephens and Hernandez are dead; they also killed themselves.

Is Justin Cox as bad as Stephens and Hernandez? Yes. He just stopped sooner.

Darrell Davis

Darrell Davis

Darrell Davis has reported on the Riders for more than 20 years and was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame media wing in 2006.
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Darrell Davis
About Darrell Davis (93 Articles)
Darrell Davis has reported on the Riders for more than 20 years and was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame media wing in 2006.

36 Comments on Riders missed the signs when it came to Justin Cox

  1. mrnehnehincognito // April 19, 2017 at 5:28 pm //

    Although I have refrained from blaming Riders for this or the incident last month ;this article makes it hard. Vince Young too has a questionable past as do Duron Carter and the QB who’s pro days he just attended. League blocked him from bringing Greg hardy in.
    Makes it seem the allegation that he worked out Johnny football all the more plausible considering he would be the exact type of guy Chris Jones would find desirable. Honestly with all the bad PR and lack of on field success I don’t see how long the riders can keep this guy. Another financially costly hire by the Riders. Back to square one for a team that keeps spinning its wheels.

    • You really do live in awe of Chris Jones, and you are very afraid of how good of a team he is going to field for the Riders. Worry away, Stampland, I can only imagine the sleepless nights you have experienced as a result of your unhealthy obsessive envy you have of the Riders. And thanks so much for refraining from blaming the Riders for this incident ( how do you make this stuff up?). Sleep tight, obsessed one.

      • mrnehnehincognito // April 19, 2017 at 11:54 pm //

        So so worried. I Can’t sleep. How can I when
        the Huff hiders have the Pillsbury dough boy at QB?

  2. Ladd Law // April 19, 2017 at 5:44 pm //

    So typical Darrell, always pouring gasoline on the Riders.

    • Not condoning the allegations against Cox, but you are correct; Darrell Davis is the most negative journalist I have ever heard or read.

      • Ladd Law // April 21, 2017 at 1:43 pm //

        I grew up with the guy. He wasn’t, isn’t much of an athlete so he first turned to refereeing. Power tripping referee. Then to journalism. We know the old saying, those who can’t play, write about it like they can or did or they ref. There are two sides to every story and DD seems to look for the negative each and every time.

  3. I don’t think what he did was a bad as murdering someone (he still did bad things). But really? comparing him to 2 murderers? Not cool Darrell. Not cool.

  4. Southwest cowboy // April 19, 2017 at 5:53 pm //

    I agree with the first post. Jones loves jerks because he is one.

  5. There should be zero tolerance for this sort of thing. Greg Hardy, Khalif Mitchell, Cox – if Jones can’t do his due diligence or simply believes talent trumps all, then the league office should come out strongly & say they won’t bring these players to the CFL. Otherwise the program highlighting violence against women is just so much talk.

  6. Cox’s character was reviewed. It was noted very clearly by the team that Cox had a checkered past and a history of domestic violence charges however Jones decided to give him a chance. I’m not condoning this type of behavior by any means however two things need to be clear here. First, as stated, the team didn’t miss any signs. They saw them and indicated them as a concern. Secondly, Cox has been charged with domestic assault….not convicted. Last time I checked reporters weren’t judges. Should these allegations be treated seriously? Absolutely…but let’s not hang Mr. Cox until he’s had his day in court.

    • mrnehnehincognito // April 19, 2017 at 6:32 pm //

      That’s a good point Dave but it’s an allegation against a past multiple offender hard to imagine he’s not guilty. However that is up to a judge or jury to decide not the court of public opinion. However it still doesn’t excuse the riders for playing with at the very least potential ticking time bomb.

      • I’m of the opinion that everyone deserves a chance. If guilty then good riddance. If he’s exonerated then welcome him back. To label him a ticking time bomb isn’t fair. Don’t get me wrong…I can’t stand violent pieces of garbage that assault their spouse. All I’m saying is let’s not label him “one of those bad men” or compare him to a murderer. That’s excessive to say the least. Let’s leave it as a player who’s facing allegations and let go. Isn’t that bad enough? Give him his day in court. If guilty then let the insults fly. But as I said before…he deserves his day in court.

  7. Don’t know much about the guy’s past but wouldn’t the Riders have vetted his past?

    • mrnehnehincognito // April 19, 2017 at 7:39 pm //

      It would not appear that Jones has any sort of vetting process when it comes to recruiting where off field performance is concerned.
      Jones (and therefore the Riders) moto seems to be
      “If you can play we won’t pry”

      • Unlike the Stampeders.

        • mrnehnehincognito // April 19, 2017 at 11:57 pm //

          If you are referring to Campbell there is nothing indicating he had done this in the past. Besides that the list of Rider VS Stamp indiscretions over years is no contest and becoming less of one everyday it seems.

  8. Second chances, yes, but as the Leader-Post reported he has been twice arrested for burglary and domestic violence – 2014 & again in 2015. They also state that the police found the woman with injuries consistent with physical violence. There IS a pattern here. And I agree with Stampland – it doesn’t excuse Jones and there is a pattern THERE as well.

  9. Southwest cowboy // April 19, 2017 at 7:50 pm //

    Elsewhere on this web page is story of Chris Jones attending a pro day for another disgraced footballer who has worn out his welcome in Collegiate football.
    Jones just don’t give a crap, it’s win at all cost.

  10. Wonderful Jones at his sleezy best

  11. Don’t know what’s becoming of the CFL as of late…nary a blemish for years…all of a sudden felons are coming out everywhere and starting to mirror their NFL counterpart…hopefully this trend will change…and soon.

    • mrnehnehincognito // April 20, 2017 at 10:22 am //

      Seems to me football in general (CFL or NFL) has increasing numbers of DV cases.

  12. Stampland how about your player mr campbell selling drugs you condon that oh ya he is a stamp player they are never wrong

    • mrnehnehincognito // April 20, 2017 at 9:22 am //

      Not at all. If you look at the previous story written about Cox on 3 downnation earlier yesterday I mention Campbell and say Stamps fans shouldn’t throw stones. However Campbell didn’t have priors when we was signed and the list of Riders indiscretions seems to grow weekly.

  13. Americans do not have a God-given right to compete for the Grey Cup. The league should not give Americans with records a second look.

  14. What a bunch of hypocrites. Anyone who lives in a CFL city knows he is not the first or last layer to be abusive of women. It’s very common. Difference is you are ok till you get caught.

    Same issue as sports writers, they make a living trashing others because that’s what get them articles published-people don’t read the good news stories!

    If you win, people will always turn their cheek. If Jones was so bad, the 3 other places where he left trails of success, would have cut him loose versus him leaving for promotions!

    • mrnehnehincognito // April 20, 2017 at 9:26 am //

      “If Jones was so bad, the 3 other places where he left trails of success, would have cut him loose versus him leaving for promotions!”

      So how long before he leaves you for an NCAA promotion or lateral CFL move G?
      Disloyalty…one of the many problems with giving Jones the keys to the green farm.

      • Ladd Law // April 21, 2017 at 1:53 pm //

        Seriously mrinconsequential you have a real hate on for someone you have never met, have no idea what they think or how they act. What you should know is that his players love him, respect him and want to play for him. That has been reported many times. Sharing these concepts and ideas with you is a waste of key stokes because you simply will never get it. According to the Journal of Mental Health, you have a very unhealthy fixation and maybe time to see someone about it.

    • I don’t imagine anyone that knows football even a little thinks Wonderful Jones is a lousy football guy. He’s very good, actually. It’s just that he’s so full of himself he thinks the rules don’t apply to him. Sask. fans love their team and are very loyal. But (and I spend some time in Sask every year) the fans see through him and while most seem to be willing to wait and see, more and more are fed up. I watched a game with some fans in a bar in Sask last year and they were calling him Wonderful Jones because he thinks he’s so wonderful! Too funny, I thought, but really it’s sad to see what’s happening there. By the 1/2 time show nearly a third of them had tuned out and went to play pool. I don’t think you’d see that a few years ago. I don’t think they trust him and maybe feel a bit of shame for some of his nonsense moves.

      • mrnehnehincognito // April 20, 2017 at 11:22 am //

        as I say Rider fans have to take emotion out of it and really take stock of this guy

      • Puck Hog // April 21, 2017 at 8:50 pm //

        Your trip to a bar in Saskatchewan was a real scientific and statistical sample on which to base your observation.

  15. Puck Hog // April 21, 2017 at 8:53 pm //

    Haha, Mr. incoherent. You are so obsessed and jealous of this man, that much is obvious! I agree with Ladd Law above who suggest you should get some help before you eork yourself into an unhealthier state than you find yourself already.

  16. CFL is a league of 2nd chances. In the case with Justin Cox it was a 3rd chance if one counts the 2 strikes he had in KC. He blew it – simple as that and will pay the price for it as others have in the NFL as well in the CFL.

  17. Wow, freedom of speech allows anyone to say anything stupid. They are very different and only an idiot would claim that Cox is the same he just stopped sooner………….. How does this man have a job as a journalist. Don’t get me wrong, Cox is a piece of garbage no matter what his claims are, but the HUGE difference between him and the mentioned murderers are that his victims are still breathing!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What a dumb insulting story.

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