CFL suspends Redblacks DB Jonathon Rose for Grey Cup but will it stand?

The CFL has suspended Ottawa Redblacks defensive back Jonathon Rose one-game for making contact with an official in the second quarter of Sunday’s Eastern final win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

If the suspension stands, Rose will miss the Grey Cup against the Calgary Stampeders and forfeit $16,000 in playoff bonus money if Ottawa wins and $8,000 if they lose.

The league issued a statement announcing the suspension Tuesday morning:

We are extremely reluctant to take an action that could prevent an athlete from joining his teammates for what may be the most important game of his life. But there is an another principle at stake, one which has very significant implications for our league and sport in general.

If we fail to send a strong signal when there is physical abuse of an official, whatever the circumstances, we risk sending the wrong message to not only the athletes in our league but young and aspiring athletes, coaches and even parents throughout sport. Officials are an important part of athletic competition, responsible for its integrity. While their contributions too often go unsung, we cannot allow them to be disrespected or, worse, abused.

For these reasons, the Canadian Football League has notified  Jonathan Rose of the Ottawa REDBLACKS that he is being assessed a one game suspension for pushing an official during last Sunday’s Eastern Final in Ottawa.

There are precedents for punishment when it comes to making contact with an official in the CFL. There were two incidents during the 2017 season and both resulted in one game suspensions from commissioner Randy Ambrosie. The first took place when Hamilton Tiger-Cats defensive back Will Hill grabbed an official by the collar during a game against the Riders. The second took place less than two weeks later when then-Edmonton Eskimos DB Garry Peters made contact with an official in a game against the Ticats. Like Hill, Peters was ejected and suspended.

Rose has the right to appeal his suspension under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement and if he chooses to do so how that process unfolds – an appeal involving then Montreal receiver Duron Carter in 2016 took weeks to play out – could impact his availability for the championship game.

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