Fourteen Tweets that show just how divided the CFLPA is on the ratio

After our boy Justin Dunk dropped his bombshell that both the CFL and the union were considering a change that would see the number of Canadian starters drop from seven to five, there was plenty of reaction on social media – particularly from players.

Their responses clearly illustrate the divide between nationals – Canadian players whose spots are guaranteed by the CBA – and internationals, who make up the majority of the league’s stars. American players can be resentful because they believe Canadians – who they often see as inferior talents – are compensated based on their passports instead of their playing ability in some (many?) cases.

Let’s start with Winnipeg running back Andrew Harris, whose tweet probably deserves its own post. Hey American CFL players, he seems to be saying, if you don’t like it here, why don’t you go play elsewhere? He even includes a middle finger for good measure.

Tweeting at 1:13 a.m. ET is generally… not a great idea. But it certainly got the attention of Brandon Banks, who went on an epic Twitter rant Sunday morning. He argued with fans, threw former teammates under the bus while arguing that Courtney Stephen was overpaid and basically said linemen have it easy.

Calgary offensive lineman and 3Down podcaster Derek Dennis, stirred the pot a little….

And that got Toronto defensive end Shawn Lemon and Saskatchewan offensive lineman Josiah St. John into it, with St. John finally saying the thing that validates every American players’ argument on the subject.

There were some thoughtful tweets, however, including this one from veteran Canadian Calvin McCarty…

And this one from Winnipeg kicker Justin Medlock…




And this one from Calgary punter Rob Maver….

This tweet from Montreal quarterback Vernon Adams is the rare expression of support for the ratio from an American player… of course, quarterbacks aren’t included in the ratio and are already well-compensated, so…

A position on which he promptly flip-flops…

Former Redblack Diontae Spencer has departed for the NFL so he sees the humour in the clashes between CFL players.

How about a former Rider chiming in, making the argument that preserving the ratio gives Canadian players a chance to develop.

These two from Ted Laurent are interesting because they come from a guy who is an all-star at his position as a Canadian. Ted is from Montreal,  went to high school in Georgia, played his college ball at Ole Miss and spends his off-seasons in Florida. In other words, he seen both sides and benefitted from both.

All of these tweets illustrate the challenges the CFLPA has always faced: balancing the needs and desires of two separate nationalities with conflicting interests at the bargaining table and keeping their membership from allowing those divisions to be revealed publicly during negotiations.

For comparison sake, let’s look at CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie’s most recent tweet…

How about Ticats’ CEO Scott Mitchell, who sits on the league’s bargaining committee?

Maybe Bombers’ president Wade Miller has said something inflammatory from his (possibly fake) account? Nope.

The CFL will be perfectly happy to let the players’ divisions play out in public while staying silent on the status of negotiations – you’ll notice they didn’t issue a statement on Dunk’s report like the CFLPA did.

Sure, the players make for interesting follows on Twitter. But as a negotiating strategy, it leaves plenty to be desired.