Ticats’ Simoni Lawrence formally appeals suspension; CFL ‘deeply disappointed’

Ticats linebacker Simoni Lawrence is going to fight the discipline handed down by commissioner Randy Ambrosie for his head shot on Riders quarterback Zach Collaros.

Lawrence knocked Collaros from the game on Saskatchewan’s third offensive snap. The 30-year-old pivot 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.

After a hearing on Saturday, Ambrosie doled out a two-game suspension for Lawrence stating the hit was “dangerous and reckless“. Hamilton’s defender is well within his right to appeal.

Commissioner Randy Ambrosie followed the appeal with a strongly worded statement:

“The CFL is deeply disappointed that the CFLPA has decided to contest the league’s attempt to punish and deter a dangerous play. It is highly regrettable that the association has informed us it has decided to grieve the two-game suspension the CFL has imposed on Hamilton Tiger-Cat Simoni Lawrence after he struck Saskatchewan Roughrider quarterback Zach Collaros in the head after Collaros had given himself up by sliding feet first,” Ambrosie said.

“We should embrace a shared responsibility to do all we can to punish and deter any play that crosses the line. It is disappointing that the union has decided to use a legal process, at considerable time and expense, to defend an offending player instead of standing up for the player hurt on the play. Let’s use that time and money to instead work together on new ways to promote and protect all players’ safety.”

The fact Lawrence practiced Wednesday and appealed the suspension means there is a strong chance he plays in Week 2 against the Toronto Argonauts as the grievance process plays out.

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