Ticats’ Simoni Lawrence responds to criticism: ‘they’re supposed to hate me’

Simoni Lawrence views himself as the wrestling heel in the CFL.

(For those unfamiliar with wrestling slang, heel means the wrestler who portrays the villain or bad guy.)

“It’s entertainment. I think they’re supposed to hate me,” Lawrence told Edmonton Sun reporter Gerry Moddejonge.

“If I was on any other team, I would hate me like you’re supposed to. I play football, I play defence and I play football fast and I don’t really have friends on the field.”

Former Saskatchewan Roughriders radio play-by-play voice Rod Pedersen is the latest to publicly criticize Lawrence, calling for him to be suspended for the entire season. Pedersen went on a rant Tuesday during his self-titled The Rod Pedersen live-streamed internet radio show.

“It’s just football. I think we get in a place where we start feeling personally attacked when people say certain things, but other than that, I don’t care about the Saskatchewan fans talking. Or anybody talking, that’s part of the game,” Lawrence said.

“I like playing football with my teammates, I’d do anything for my teammates. I’ve got a lot of teammates that go through stuff and I’m playing for them.”

Hamilton’s linebacker broke the CFL record – held by former Saskatchewan Roughriders linebacker Reggie Hunt – for tackles in a game with 17 in Week 16 against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

“You either love him or you hate him, and that’s okay,” head coach Orlondo Steinauer said. “He’s a passionate player. He plays football aggressive. He wants to be great.”

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