Saskatchewan Roughriders defensive lineman Charleston Hughes was visibly upset discussing his drinking and driving charge.
“The only statement I really have is to apologize to my teammates, my fans and the staff and the organization. It’s embarrassing to go through a situation like this. We’re supposed to be focusing on football right now and when something like this comes up you really feel like it takes away from what we’re supposed to be focusing on. Just trying to handle everything the best way I can and take all the legal advice that I’m given and really just try to focus on the next move,” Hughes said.
“Everybody’s been rallying around or behind me and trying to support me the best way they can, so I’m appreciative of everyone. Even across the league a lot of players have reached out to me and know that I’m feeling not so happy and in an embarrassing moment, embarrassing spot.”
Hughes would not discuss what happened on October 11 and said he’s never been caught impaired driving prior to this occurrence.
Regina police say last Thursday they received a report of a suspicious vehicle around 2 a.m. According to police, a truck was running on the side of the road with a man behind the wheel who did not respond to officers. Police say a suspect showed signs of intoxication and was taken into custody. Provincial court confirms that Hughes has been charged with impaired driving and failing to provide a breath sample for analysis.
Riders head coach Chris Jones found out about the charge on Tuesday.
“First of all, as an organization, and me personally, it’s an unfortunate event, it’s something that we take very seriously and Charleston knows the situation and the magnitude of it,” Jones said.
“Charleston’s human and he made a huge mistake. We certainly don’t condone it, we think of the offence very seriously. We’re certainly not going to throw out one of our own, but at the same time he’s got to understand that it’s a very serious offence and everybody on our football team, and our administration, and our coaching staff, and our ticket office, and everybody else has to be the same way: look at it very seriously.
Hughes leads the CFL with 15 sacks after Saskatchewan traded for the 34-year-old in the off-season. Jones was asked if Hughes will face any discipline from the team or play while the charge progresses through the courts.
“I’ve spoken with Charleston and he and I have met a couple of times on it and we’ll continue to do so over the next while. As an organization, we’ve got to make sure we gather all the info on it before we act on it. It’s not like we face this every day, different people have handled it in different ways,” Jones said.
“There’s not a league code of conduct in place regarding these matters, so we’ll handle it as an individual event like we do all of our football team.”
– with CJME and CP files