CFL player: Diversity t-shirt made me cog in superficial, empty campaign

Editor’s note: A current CFL player reached out to 3DownNaton with concerns over what he believes are inequalities between the league and its domestic violence message. Out of concern for his job security, he has requested to remain anonymous.

As a CFL player, we recognize that along with playing football part of the job sees us serve as active ambassadors for the league. So, when a couple of weeks ago the diversity T-shirts were placed in our lockers it was our responsibility to wear them, and in turn, show the world the CFL’s ‘alleged’ stand on mutual respect and other core values which were implied under the “Diversity is Strength” campaign. A tremendous message in light of recent events (Charlottesville, VA), however, I was leery of how quickly something would happen that would expose the superficial nature with this campaign.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Art Briles case I can bring you up to speed quickly: investigations showed he failed to report several cases of rape, including gang rape, and sexual assault to the authorities, in turn, covering up for his players at Baylor University. Sickening. Think Penn State, but substitute children campers with female students. Disgusting. Wrong. Sad.

Clearly, this is someone any organization needs to avoid. Oh, and did I mention he has no CFL experience? No, seriously. None. This move makes as much sense from a football perspective as it does from a public image one.

The CFL knew about this beforehand and failed to jump in front of it with a message, or, veto-power nixing the hire. Barry’s, a local jeweller in the Hamilton area, was more proactive on this than the CFL and our new commissioner. Wonderful.

Kudos to Barry’s though. Fantastic idea and better message.

The league has turned away the likes of Greg Hardy and Justin Cox recently for domestic abuse charges and allegations, yet they’ll do nothing and allow the hiring of a coach with this on record. Quite the dichotomy.

I was fearful that my wearing of the diversity T-shirt made me a cog in a superficial, empty campaign. Turns out it took only two weeks for this prop to have that fear validated.

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33 Comments on CFL player: Diversity t-shirt made me cog in superficial, empty campaign

  1. Exactly what I think. Hypocrites. #cfl The CFL decided to get political & now they have to stand up to do what’s right

    • Bart Oates // August 29, 2017 at 1:03 am //

      The did NOT get political at all. Standing up for what is right is NOT political. Only white supracists and rapists see it that way. That the CFL and it’s new commissioner only saw it as a race issue shows that the CFL has a very long way to go in regards to diversity. And white supremacist/Edmonton coach Jason Maas, who refused to wear the diversity shirt, has even farther to go.

      • Marc Antony // August 29, 2017 at 4:06 am //

        “white supracists” ??? LOL !!!

        Is this a new label for any white person residing in Canada who is not a Liberal?

        • Not just Canada…this is all over the Western world. If you don’t agree in exactly the same way …and quickly at that….you are a nazi. This intolerance is callled liberalism. Violence against women should never be tolerated, but that doesn’t necessarily equate to not wanting to participate in this mob justice as one poster said yesterday.
          This is how fascists work……words have upside down meanings…..war is peace….etc.
          Children of Orwelll all!

        • Dundas dude // August 29, 2017 at 5:06 pm //

          Exactly. Progressives are like puritans (but a lot less open minded). Racism now has the opposite meaning it had a couple decades ago. Diversity of opinion and respectful discourse is no longer tolerated. George Orwell, unfortunately, was prescient. The Cats could still make the playoffs,in the struggling East.

      • Is there a list somewhere of just which “issues” the CFL needs to “make a statement” on? Not disagreeing…..just curious if this is going to be a weekly occurrence…..you know….like football games used to be.

      • Getting a little carried away with your accusations Bart!!

      • Bruce Kent // August 30, 2017 at 2:07 pm //

        Absolutely brain dead post. Give your head a shake Bart. You are more of a problem than the people you claim to be fighting against.

  2. Ive read every article i could find about the situation and nowhere could I find “investigations showed he failed to report several cases of rape, including gang rape, and sexual assault to the authorities – covering up for his players.
    Please let me know where to find that before i make a judgment

    • White Horse // August 28, 2017 at 8:13 pm //

      Catmondo…I Google Dallas News article and the Baylor Sex scandle. Mr.Briles is still a murky cloud in the over exposed media $hitstorm that we are subjected to in this forum. I do not advocate violence of any form, but this is way beyond reason.
      Let’s hear from the League. Love the CFL.

  3. Who are you? This is simple if people don’t agree with the hiring don’t support the team and if the team and the league feel this has tarnished there reputation than fire the guy before the one o’clock news conference to introduce him . I’m hearing he covered up rape and I’m hearing the school used him as a scape goat only the people involved know the truth and the circumstances involving everyone

  4. White Horse // August 28, 2017 at 8:21 pm //

    Just some more verification…I have searched and read a lot. All the charges are media and not police. Is this worth a public lynching when we are not privy to the facts and the truth?
    I am not a Tigercat fan but, I believe in people’s right to innocence till proven guilty. Was he a scapegoat? Are you sure?

    • Since my comment with the link got moderated and nothing ever gets out of moderation around here, google the Pepper Hamilton report and read it for yourself. Plenty of verification for you.

  5. On the one hand we have a criminal justice system with rules tested through the ages. On the other hand we have Internet empowered mob rule. If he committed a crime then let him be charged. If he messed up but committed no crime let him come clean and be accountable. If he has learned from his mistakes then let him redeem himself. Professionally this guy has paid a tremendous penalty. Does he deserve a second chance? I think yes. Football culture has a problem with misogyny and violence. Does offering this guy a second chance mean that the Tigercats espouse violence and misogyny? I don’t think so. Does it mean that the League is hypocritical? I don’t think so. However if this guy makes a single utterance that dismisses the seriousness of these past events then he is irredeemable and should be gone. But let’s give him a chance to make the rest of his life an example of the possibility of redemption.

  6. My question of who are you was directed at the person behind this story not you white horse . I too am trying to find more facts. I listened to peolpe that wrote the book on this whole situation and it seems there is no final verdict out whether he was a scape goat or knew everything. What they did say is the school the police the athletic department and the governing body of the sport all had there faults in the whole situation . A lot of the issue here is people took the first article seen the word rape and went crazy get the facts let the guy speak for the situation he is in then judge there are 3 sides to every story his hers and the truth somewhere in between

    • Misogyny and tolerance of violence is a rear problem in football culture. But false misleading or exaggerated internet stories or innuendo assassinations are also a real thing. Those who acted and those that stayed silent or looked the other way are all guilty, but their crimes are different and proof matters. If this guy looked the other way then he did wrong. He lost a job that paid him millions. He has been humiliated and scorned. Now he wants to start over again at the only thing that he knows. You say no! What satisfies you? Should he take his life? Is nothing less good enough? And what if the internet stories are inaccurate? What if he has an answer? Mobs are impatient and unsubtle things. Mobs like simple stories and swift justice.

  7. A tremendous penalty? What tremendous penalty exactly? Surely there are other coaches that could be up to the task.

    • Marshall. Seriously? You don’t think this guy has paid the penalty? Guilty or innocent, would you stand in his shoes for five seconds?

  8. Briles has apologized for administrative errors… not coaching errors…. of which there was no culpability to charge him criminally – and NEVER convicted. He still apologized for his role. Far worse people like Joe Mixon are employed bountifully. This charade is all left wing media and special interest groups looking for 2 more mins of fame!!! Guess what – North Korea just fired a missile over Japan – WW3 imminent – real news!

  9. Go ahead and bail this guy out if you can. Have him as your coach while under a huge cloud. You’ve seen the reaction. Most people are outraged and satisfied that something close to what we read about went down. If the info is wrong, where is this guy? I’d be mighty pissed if the community trashed me wrongfully. I’d scream bloody murder and hire a handful of lawyers He’s keeping his head down. What does that tell you? Scott Mitchell pretty much said he was guilty – talking about giving second chances. Give your asses a shake boys. Stand up for women. Stand up for our CFL.

  10. People who are not inconvenienced by the facts have decided. Well then so be it! Ghomesi was and doubtless still is a jerk but three out of three accusers were found at trial to have lied and fabricated evidence and he was found not guilty. Did you forget?

    The facts are in this case but neither do you.

  11. I said weeks ago that the shirt was a publicity stunt. Everyone was mad at me, but once again, I was right.

    • Marc Antony // August 29, 2017 at 4:22 am //

      You were right to begin with. Political correct propaganda has no place in pro sports.

  12. The shirt was planned to be rolled out later this year. Hardly a publicity stunt. Recent events just dictated it be released early. The shirt also wasn’t about abuse, rape etc. It was about race and inclusiveness. A separate issue, as far as I see it.

    Where the league failed was being hypocritical about their programs towards violence against women and bullying. Yes it never should have been an issue, but at least they did the right thing in the end.

    • Tom is right…..the TIMING of the tshit release was the stunt to which he refers. While the cause is certainly worthy….seems like the CFL has put itself in a position on having to “make a statement” every time these mobs whip up this weeks social controversy?
      Why would a league do that to itself…the causes at certainly just as it relates to inclusiveness and violence against women. I just think the CFL would be well served to focus on the product….better officiating…….better attendance…..improved fan experience etc? Play football and let that be the primary focus!

  13. Nice to see the player man up and say who he is as he demeans the CFL, the teams/players and the PA and many Canadians who feel the CFL stepping up on this did the right thing.

  14. Yes Greg….how dare this player express his own opinion as someone who was likely more involved in the rollout than you! And he chose to remain private….another right he seems to express freely…..he must be swiftly identified and banned from the CFL immediately!
    /s

  15. Tiger man // August 29, 2017 at 9:44 am //

    Damien Cox and Bruce Arthur, both journalists, have come out clearly against this hiring. If anyone could find holes in the Art Briles accusations, they could.

    Says it all for me.

  16. I honestly think that people are blowing this a little bit out of proportion. Though this man was fired from coaching, was he ever convicted of the crime that we speak of. It’s not like he is the one that did the crime. I am by no means condoning his actions but however there is no solid proof to say that he was the only one involved and that he was not the scapegoat. He was fired to save face for the school itself. In my research I do not see anywhere that he was charged with any crime. Once again I am not condoning what he did or what anybody at Baylor did but all I am saying is was he the one that was solely responsible 4 the situation ?

  17. According to Bleacher Report in an article dated March 2nd 2017 art briles denies covering up accusations of sexual violence at Baylor. He in fact then filed a lawsuit for libel against three Baylor officials for comments about his role in the situation. Though he dropped the lawsuit he did end up saying and urge the Baylor Board of Regents to remember the importance of thorough investigations with full transparency. Why would a man who’s totally guilty even want to think about counter-suing or suing for libel in which case his reputation could be damaged more. Once again I’m not saying that he is not guilty but all I’m saying is that maybe there is more to this whole thing than meets the eye. Maybe Baylor University is only protecting its own reputation and he is the scapegoat.

  18. Just wearing a T shirt would make you a cog in a superficial , empty campaign if you were just wearing it because it was in your locker, a gift from your employer. If however you believe in the message, it certainly isn’t at all superficial ! You’re in the locker room, you tell us? I’d like to think the message resonates with most players? If so does the foolish hiring by one member of an organization negate the work of all the others?

    • Both good points Ziggy….I think it was the timing to coincide with the VA protests that to me just linked the CFL to all that mess…..the CFLs long history of inclusiveness was proof enough and symbol enough for me….and you know….I mean…it’s a tshirt for goodness sake….so that hit me kinda funny in a way as a response?
      If the players and fans would got them feel good about it….that’s cool for them….but it almost had the feel to it if you didn’t want one….maybe you wanted that sweet new team jersey instead….that you were politically incorrect so to speak.

  19. Well said ziggy! I got the impression that players and coaches (from THEIR public statements) were proud of the campaign and they didn’t feel it was empty.

    I still feel this anonymous player is off base and it’s no wonder he’s not saying his team as I doubt any of his colleagues feel its empty.

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