The CFL Players’ Association has opened “disciplinary procedures” against Edmonton-based agent Jason Staroszik over a social media post that depicted the agent in blackface.
In an email sent to players around the league on Wednesday, the CFLPA says it recently became aware of the post and the image which “causes concern.” As a result, CFLPA president Jeff Keeping is establishing a three-person disciplinary committee to investigate.
Staroszik posted a photo of himself in blackface and wearing and an orange jumpsuit to his Instagram story, which was then posted to Twitter by Mandy Grewal last week.
Hey #yeg / internet,
This is Jason and he represents a few CFL dudes apparently as an agent. @EdmontonEsks included. He just posted this and is defending it hard. Saying it’s just a character.
— don't kale my spring vibes ???? (@MindyGee) October 26, 2018
Staroszik, who made headlines earlier this season by representing Terrell Owens during an attempted CFL comeback, says the photo is from five years ago and defended his use of blackface in a statement to CBC.
“The costume was intended to push the limits of what is socially acceptable but still be in good fun, without harming or offending anyone,” the statement reads.
“The costume was well received throughout the night, with no controversial or negative accusations. There was no issues surrounding the costume the night it was worn or in the five years that have past.”
The image caught the attention of Eskimos defensive back Jamill Smith, who called out Staroszik for using blackface while making a very salient point on the difference between racism and ignorance.
@jstaroszik this is trash if u don’t know the history of blackface then go look it up…not saying you’re racist which stems hate but this is clearly micro aggressive which stems from ignorance but can have the same affect as racism..get informed smfh
— Jamill Amin Smith Sr (@Millz2BeMade) October 26, 2018