CFL Players’ Association ‘pressing league’ to commit to August 5 start date

Photo edit: 3DownNation

The Canadian Football League Players’ Association wants a unanimous guarantee from the board of governors regarding the targeted kick-off date for a potential 2021 season.

Union president Solomon Elimimian sent a memo to the membership on Friday, May 21.

We are continuing discussions with the league on both; the start of a season, and the mechanics of modifying the collective agreement to accommodate a COVID-restricted environment. Your bargaining committee is pressing the league to commit to the start date of August 5th, 2021, so you can get your affairs in order and prepare to play football.

With that said, the provincial and federal health authorities have the last word on when we can start training camp and begin a shortened season as there needs to be an allowance for a percentage of fan attendance.

We are also working with the CFL to access the CEWS program for eligible players, and we continue to work with them to ensure a smooth rollout of the payments.

Our communication lines remain open, and we urge you to contact your player reps, executive, and CFLPA office directly if you have any questions or comments.

The league office has targeted August 5 as a potential kick-off date for the regular season this year. After that announcement from commissioner Randy Ambrosie, the CFLPA advised players not to make any decisions related to current employment.

The CFL did not include a 14-game schedule when the decision to postpone the start of the 2021 season was made. That along with other details has left the players to wonder and become increasingly uncertain about playing.

The league and union began meetings during the second week of February with a focus on playing football. The two sides have submitted return to play health and safety plans to various levels of government in Canada as the stakeholders work to gain return to play approval.

Justin Dunk is a football insider, sports reporter and anchor.