Former CFL players’ association president Scott Flory doesn’t feel national positions should be taken away.
“We’ve gotta maintain that ratio. I’d argue it’s even too low. Clearly, I’m a Canadian schooled and born and raised guy and I’m a huge fan of Canadians. It’s unique to the CFL and to Canada and I think we need to maintain that level of hope for athletes out there,” Flory said on 620 CKRM The SportsCage.
“It’s almost hopeless for a quarterback to think that they’re ever going to get a pay cheque to play quarterback in football here in Canada and we don’t want to eliminate hope from especially other positions.”
Both the CFL and CFLPA are in favour of reducing the number of national starters. Currently, seven of the 24 starters on offence and defence must be nationals, part of the 21 non-imports on the 44-man game day roster. But those numbers might change at the bargaining table. Flory was in charge of the CFLPA for the last CBA that was ratified in 2014 which lasted five years and kept the Canadian starters at seven.
“I’m a Canadian, born and raised and schooled, trained – everything. I’m a hardcore Canadian advocate. I think that we have the athletes here in this country – sometimes they got skates on their feet, other times they got cleats on their feet,” Flory said.
“We gotta commit to growing and developing the game because the athletes are here in my opinion, there is no question in my mind.”
Flory was drafted in the third round, 15th overall of the 1998 CFL draft and developed into a Canadian Football League Hall of Fame offensive lineman. He won three Grey Cups during his entire 15-year CFL career spent playing for the Montreal Alouettes. The Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman Award was earned twice by Flory (2008 and 2009).
“I used the same analogy with my team in training camp, the World Cup of soccer had just finished, Iceland had a team in the World Cup of soccer – this is a country the size of Saskatoon, there’s 350,000 people and they beat out the US and Canada and multiple other countries world wide,” Flory, the current University of Saskatchewan head coach said.
“It wasn’t a matter of them not having the population base or the athletes, it’s a matter of they committed to grass roots development and growth of their game. I honestly feel if we do the same in Canada it’s no different.”