Ticats linebacker Simoni Lawrence has ‘done some dirty things’: Henry Burris

Photo Scott Grant / CFLPhotoArchive.com
Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com

Ticats linebacker Simoni Lawrence and Henry Burris have a history.

Back in November 2015, Lawrence tackled Burris during the first quarter of an Ottawa Redblacks victory. The quarterback felt it was a low hit targeting his injured knee that had a brace on it.

“Simoni has done some dirty things, including my hit back in 2015,” Burris said on TSN radio 1200 in Ottawa.

At the time, CFL vice president of officiating, Glen Johnson clarified the league’s stance on the hit by Lawrence on Burris.

“That was a legal hit by the standard we have for roughing the passer,” Johnson said. “When the passer is on the run and is not in the passing position he can be tackled low. We treat him just like we would any other ball carrier.”

Lawrence is at the centre of controversy again following a two-game suspension for a head shot on Riders quarterback, and former teammate, Zach Collaros during Hamilton’s Week 1 victory. The 30-year-old linebacker seems likely to appeal the punishment and try to reduce the discipline handed down by commissioner Randy Ambrosie.

“That would be pitiful. I’d be extremely disappointed,” Burris said about the possible reduction of the suspension.

“I’ve seen a number of players weighing in across the league saying it’s about time, he’s such a dirty player, why have we let it go this far? It’s about time we’re going to do something. If they allow him to get his suspension reduced by one game there’s going to be uproar by the players, I can promise you that.”

Collaros underwent concussion protocol and did not pass. That meant he watched the rest of the Week 1 loss from the sideline. Lawrence was assessed a 25-yard roughing the passer penalty.

“In two instances in that game you saw Simoni Lawrence take shots at guys that had given themselves up. One being of course Zach Collaros on play number four during that game and it was a blatant shot at his head. He had already started to slide, Simoni proceeded past two other Ticats that were standing between him and Zach Collaros, and proceeded to hit him right square in his head and knock him out,” Burris said.

“And then, of course, the post game to hear Simoni say they were friends, but the fact was he had some choice words for Zach Collaros when he was walking off the field – if that’s your friend you don’t say those things to him.”

Burris also referenced a different hit later in the game on Saskatchewan’s starting running back.

“The second incident that happened, William Powell is being tackled and as he was going down Simoni Lawrence basically put the crown of his helmet right through the back of William Powell’s head,” Burris said.

“Those are two examples of what Simoni did during that game, this has got to stop, there is no place for this in the game.”