Argos all-star believes he was released by Panthers after anthem gesture

Marcus Ball was cut two days after making a gesture of unity during the national anthem during his Carolina Panthers debut in 2016.

In a first-person account for Sports Illustrated’s The MMQB of his protest  and subsequent events, Ball believes his release two days due to him raising his hand in the air and pointing towards the sky.

But I also acknowledged the protests and recent events that had been building around the country and recently in Charlotte. (That very week, a black man had been fatally shot by a police officer in the city.)

I didn’t realize it, but I was the only guy on the team to make any sort of gesture that day. There was nothing organized; I didn’t discuss anything with anyone. It was just in my heart that day to thank God for the opportunity and to reflect on the excitement that had built up inside me.

Asked about it after the game, I had a two-word answer. “One love,” quoting the late Bob Marley. My point: It was a time in the country where I believed we needed unity, where we all needed to come together as one in the culture, and in the country.

Ball feels it was team owner Jerry Richardson who ordered his release.

I walked into the facility, walked upstairs and, as I expected, I was told I was being released and my contract was being terminated. I questioned the motives immediately.

I then had to ask: “Am I getting released by Big Cat?” I asked, referring to our owner, Jerry Richardson.

“Oh, no, no, no,” I was told.

I had my doubts. I know Richardson didn’t want players following Colin Kaepernick’s lead and protesting. I knew he didn’t want players wearing dreadlocks, which I did.

After allegations of workplace misconduct, Richardson will put the team up for sale at the end of the season.

My suspicions about my release from the Carolina Panthers came roaring back last month when I read the allegations against Jerry Richardson. The Sports Illustrated story mentioned an African-American scout who left the team after Richardson used a racial slur. All this is coming out, and I know I’m not the only one saying “Told you so.”

I’ve thought about that every single day since then. Would I do it again? The answer is “yes.” One people, one love, one unity. Peace. I stand for that now, more than ever. It’s a shame that clearly, not everyone feels the same.

Ball played five games for the San Francisco 49ers to finish the 2016 season. Then he returned north to become an inspirational leader on the Argos defence that won a Grey Cup in 2017.


38 Comments on Argos all-star believes he was released by Panthers after anthem gesture

  1. Paul Smith // January 7, 2018 at 1:27 pm //

    Maybe you weren’t good enough Marcus? Ever think of that?

    And if it was to do with your “gesture” perhaps you should have conferred with teammates prior to the game. It’s not like you were a starter.

    • I dont want to hear about the Anthem garbage please. I am offended by the disrespectful kneeling. Attendance and tv ratings have taken huge hit, military are offended, I am even offended by teams linking arms, it`s the same thing. I am offended by the kneeling before hand and standing after for the Anthem. I am offended that Sask Rough riders brought this garbage north, so were many Sask fans. A medal of Honor recipient turned down ceremony offered by New Orleans Saints because he learned there would be players kneeling

      • ivan Diablo // January 7, 2018 at 3:02 pm //

        i think players can kneel during the usa anthem in usa but will have to accept reactions
        play in canada where the usa anthem is NOT played before CFL games
        don’t want to see any talk about playing the usa anthem before CFL games

        tv ratings are down due to audience over exposure
        sat during playoffs

        • NFL concedes that national anthem protests are hurting business

          • Jerry Richardson // January 7, 2018 at 4:00 pm //

            TV ratings are down, but down less than non-sports TV ratings are. You know what that means? It means people are cutting the chord. The NFL had 37 of the top 50 ratings last year. Nothing else was even close. And the same will be true in 2018. The anthem protests are not hurting the NFL whatsoever. And for every nutcase that cancels their season tickets, there will be two ready to purchase them. Go ahead and stop watching. I did after the Ray Rice incident. Made no difference. And that was a GOOD reason to stop watching.

          • ivan Diablo // January 7, 2018 at 4:20 pm //

            NFL is the same org. that years ago ignored a connection between football and major head trauma CTE – i don’t trust the NFL
            NFL paid goodell $42 M for ONE YEAR and didn’t play even one down

        • Jason Gult // January 8, 2018 at 9:16 am //

          With more and more American players joining the league. The USA anthem should be played!

      • Jerry Richardson // January 7, 2018 at 3:56 pm //

        How DARE military pretend they are offended! The flag is OUR flag, not the military’s. And these guys are peacefully protesting violence and murder against unarmed African-Americans, and they are NOT protesting the military. I don’t want to hear one more word from some butt-hurt and entitled “soldier” who wants to make this about them! This political-correctness needs to stop now!

        • Jerry, what makes you think the American military are “pretending they are offended”? Are you familiar with a large number of American Military members who have told you they are pretending?
          Are you in the American Military and know this to be true? As for the butt hurt entitled soldier comment, why is it OK for you to take a stance on this issue, but anyone who takes a stance you disagree with is “Butt hurt and entitled? Perhaps they feel the same about you, a Canadian civilian lecturing them on American politics?

      • Paul Bomber // January 8, 2018 at 9:09 am //

        Just curious, and don’t rant: do you think blacks face unfair treatment from the police? You know, getting shot in the back etc etc? THAT, my friend, is what REAL disrespect looks like. Stow your self righteous patriotism for the Americans.

  2. ivan Diablo // January 7, 2018 at 1:28 pm //

    welcome to the argos and canada
    i hope mr. ball is in toronto for a long time !

  3. Feeling Blue // January 7, 2018 at 1:41 pm //

    Thank You Marcus. One of the ARGO leaders

  4. Marcus Ball trying to stay relevant. Never heard of this deadbeat until he commented on Manziel.

    • ivan Diablo // January 7, 2018 at 2:55 pm //

      i guess u didn’t watch the CFL playoffs ?
      did u even watch the grey cup ?

    • You never heard of Marcus Ball? Watch much CFL?

      This is his second stint in the CFL with the Argos. In his first stint (2 years) he had 142 tackles, 7 sacks, 3 fumble recoveries, and 4 interceptions (with 2 touchdown returns) and was key in the secondary in the Argos 2012 Grey Cup.

      • Jason Gult // January 8, 2018 at 9:18 am //

        No many people watch the CFL or the grey cup. It was on Sunday while NFL games were playing… stupid move on the CLF. Can’t compete…

        • ???.
          CFL ratings beat NFL consistently and the Grey Cup was most watched program during that weekend.
          The CFL can and does compete.Just not in your head.

        • At least the TFC trolls are smarter than this guy

          • Jason Gult // January 8, 2018 at 12:29 pm //

            You guys should show some respect to the country that owns Canada. You are our little friends to the North – behave!

            USA USA USA

            as for thinking the CFL can compete with the NFL, i’ll let someone else handle that. I’m still in shock you wrote it…

        • “Jason” Jordan Peterson has made videos for people like you to empower you to stop being a snowflake and trolling websites from you parent’s basement and “man up” to life. You must check them out. It’s so difficult to tell with some trolls these days TFC or NFL or just loser or should I say as the kids say now “looser”

          • Jason Gult // January 8, 2018 at 2:49 pm //

            Na man. You got me all wrong. I just love the NFL and think it’s funny reading what you people think about your minor league sport.

            I find it funny is all and like to stir the pot.

        • NFL troll then? Funny you need to read and comment on a website about something that you find is so beneath you. I’d say that is a little troubling, mentally speaking.

          • think of it like researching something you just don’t understand – that’s how i feel about the CFL.

            I find this league fascinating that it is watched by a few hundred thousand every week with players that couldn’t make or were cut from the NFL.

            Why not just watch college ball? at least a good portion of those players are on the up and up

        • “Jason” To be a good troll you have to be informed. When you are uninformed like yourself it comes across as lame and pathetic. So let’s take you under the learning tree, 98% of NCAA seniors are not drafted by the NFL, so that renders your theory of watching NCAA erroneous. Why would you watch it if it wasn’t the best? That means you are not a football fan but a wannabe who wants to be included with the others in the football fantasy pools. Google some information on the troubling reasons why you are trolling and fix yourself.

          • All good brother, but thanks for the concern. I’ve got nothing to hide and nothing to be embarrassed about. Just enjoying this game!!

            You should try it!

    • Green Pastures // January 8, 2018 at 12:45 pm //

      Have you ever heard of Matt Black?

  5. Rider fan // January 7, 2018 at 3:33 pm //

    How were sask fans disrespectful during the national anthem. We were all standing. I do know this I was there. The players were standing. They linked arms in unity.

  6. Dundas dude // January 7, 2018 at 6:11 pm //

    The players should certainly have the right to protest during their work, but management also certainly deserves the right to maintain the goodwill of the fans (and fire those protesters). I want to watch football, not some guy making millions of dollars disrespecting the country which pays him all this money.

  7. Probably the best Argo on defence. It’s heartening to read that he has integrity, too.

  8. NFLs loss is a CFL gain as far as Marcus Ball is concerned. They sure needed him against the Saints who ended the Panthers season. Most old timers like Jerry Richardson are too narrow minded to see Balls actions as being unpatriotic. Time for Richardson to fade away as the Panthers owner and Ball to get over being released.

  9. Sorry you just weren’t good enough.

  10. The nfl isn’t all about the best possible talent on the field. It is a league that is highly political.Many Americans have said that over the many years I have followed the CFL.Not only political but you have to be at the right place with the right coach/gm at the right time

  11. Link arms in unity lol. Instead of pulling this shit during anthems just stand with your hands by your side or on your heart and respect the anthem. Man this shit bugs me !

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