Montreal Alouettes running back Tyrell Sutton wants transparency when it comes to the potential scenarios for playing CFL games in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
CFL Players’ Association executive director Brian Ramsay called out commissioner Randy Ambrosie for not receiving concrete ideas regarding a collective agreement nor concrete direction about opportunities to get on the field this year. Sutton supports his union leadership.
“Just to be included in the goings on of what’s happening with this entire league because, honestly, without us, there is no league, there is no season. We just want to be informed,” Sutton said.
“We have livelihoods that we need to figure out. We can’t just sit around, training for the entire year while not knowing what’s going on. The biggest thing we’re asking for is transparency.”
The National Hockey League, National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball and other pro leagues along with their players’ associations are trying to figure out the safest possible ways to put on games. It doesn’t appear the CFL is doing the same with its most important asset: the athletes.
“Being in limbo from our perspective is worse than there’s because they have the information and they know what’s going on. Relaying bits and pieces or none of it, is detrimental to the entire league,” Sutton said.
“It’s sort of resentment. We’re not being included in certain aspects to keep this league alive. We’re not really in a trusting position. If we don’t have a season, guys need to actually go out there and find other jobs and find other ways of making money.”
The 33-year-old running back made his CFL debut with the Als in 2013. During the course of his six seasons with Montreal, he finished atop the CFL with 1,059 rushing yards in 2015. He did so on 180 carries and also scored five rushing touchdowns, on top of adding 334 yards and two touchdowns on 43 receptions, earning him a spot on the CFL All-Star team.
“I definitely only have so many seasons left. I’m closer to the end than the beginning. I don’t know if this would have been my last one. A lot of people are in the same situation. They probably won’t get to leave their careers in the manner they want to,” Sutton said.
The five-foot-nine, 205-pound Sutton returned to Montreal during free agency in February after stints with the B.C. Lions, Toronto Argonauts and Hamilton Tiger-Cats. He helped Hamilton reach the Grey Cup last November. Sutton completed the 2019 season with 203 rushing yards on 35 carries, in only four games, while making 11 catches for 126 yards and a major. In the Grey Cup he carried the ball 11 times for 86 yards, three of his carries were for more than 10 yards.
“I’m not one of those players who has been blessed with getting multiple six-figure contracts over a 10-year career,” Sutton said. “At what point is this $30,000 worth your livelihood? Leaving your family? A lot of personal opinions are going to make or break this league.”