Randy Ambrosie is “deeply disappointed” that the CFLPA would elect to represent Simoni Lawrence in his grievance for a two-game suspension because of the hit he put on Zach Collaros.
Lawrence has the right to appeal his suspension, and despite the fact that I think the two-game ban is just and fair, why wouldn’t Lawrence appeal? Almost everyone appeals any suspension they get, with some rare exceptions.
So anyone who is surprised that Lawrence will appeal or disappointed that the CFLPA will back him just hasn’t been paying attention.
Also, everyone who is saying that appealing proves Lawrence doesn’t regret what he did can pound sand. If something happened to you at work, even if you knew you were wrong and knew the punishment was just, but you had a mechanism to maybe lessen the punishment, you would absolutely use it. Anyone who says they wouldn’t is a liar.
But I’m not writing this to give another missive on the hit — Odin knows we have enough of those — but to say that while Randy Ambrosie might be disappointed in the CFLPA, I am disappointed in Randy Ambrosie.
I am disappointed in Randy Ambrosie because while he preaches, very publicly, that he wants to eliminate “dangerous play” from the game he has failed to adequately do that on more than one occasion while commissioner.
No, I don’t mean Simoni Lawrence; he got that one right. But what about Cory Greenwood? Why was he not handed a suspension for an equally dangerous and equally late hit on Ottawa’s Mossis Madu?
Suspension worthy? pic.twitter.com/I91MnDSe7o
— Cave-dwelling aqua gorilla (@JoshSmith_82) June 16, 2019
Is it because Madu isn’t the quarterback for the league’s marquee franchise? Is it because Madu isn’t a star player? Is it because Madu is a running back, not a quarterback and therefore doesn’t deserve the same protections? If Ambrosie wants to preach and scold others about eliminating dangerous play, then he has to try to eliminate all dangerous play, not just the ones that light up social media.
I am also disappointed in Randy Ambroise for failing to protect his own officials. No, Mr. Commissioner, we haven’t forgotten that you rescinded the suspension you handed Jonathan Rose after he two-hand shoved an official during last year’s East Division Final.
You want to clean the game up, you can start by standing by your initial ruling when an official gets manhandled by one of your players. It might not be the same as a headshot on another player, but putting your hands on a ref, who was in a vulnerable position himself, is also dangerous.
And don’t even get me started again on Anthony Cioffi’s late hit on Luke Tasker last year. If that hit didn’t meet the definition of dangerous, nothing ever should.
For the most part, we all agree that Simoni Lawrence should be punished for what he did, but for the commissioner to use this one instance as the be-all and end-all of his player-safety crusade is odd. Lawrence’s hit was maybe the most newsworthy one of the weekend, but it wasn’t the only dangerous hit to occur during Week 1.
I hope the commissioner is being forthright when he says he wants to remove dangerous, unnecessary hits from the game, but his other recent rulings on safety issues have been far from unimpeachable (and yes, I do considering shoving an official to fall under the safety-issue umbrella).
The commissioner can be as disappointed in Simoni Lawrence and the CFLPA as he wants to be, but his hands aren’t exactly clean on this matter. If he truly wants to get dangerous play out of them game, then he needs to make sure justice is spread out equally. He has not done that and that is what is ultimately disappointing.