Montreal Alouettes quarterback Vernon Adams is leading with a strong voice.
The 27-year-old franchise pivot wants his fellow Canadian Football League players to be paid regardless if there are games played in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic or not.
“I want to play, I do want to play, I absolutely — all of me wants to play. But I don’t care if we do or not. We need at least — and I say at least 50, it could be 75, 80, 90 percent — but I say at least 50 because they got the money,” Adams told TSN reporter John Lu.
“Regardless the CFL has the money — with or without the funding — they have the money to give us 50 percent because everybody else is getting paid and we’re not. They’ve seen me mention it, they’ve seen other players mention it, so I’m sure they’re working towards it.”
Accept for athletes who signed new contracts since the 2019 season finished or received early off-season roster bonuses, the majority of players haven’t been paid a cent. Unlike CFL league office and team employees, players do not qualify for any of the Canadian government emergency wage subsidy programs.
“I’ve seen the proposal for the season this year, and for the CBA next year, but what I didn’t see is if we don’t have a season, you guys are getting paid or you guys aren’t getting paid. I just want it to be transparent,” Adams Jr. said.
“I’m hopeful and optimistic that we are going to get to the fairness and still get paid, regardless. It’s just that they haven’t mentioned it. They mention everything else, but they haven’t mentioned if we play or if we don’t, are we getting paid or not? Period. It’s all about being able to provide, that’s it.”
Fortunately for Adams Jr. he signed a contract extension in January which runs through the 2022 season and could be worth up to $1.5 million. The dual threat QB received a $165,000 signing bonus, but despite the upfront cash, Adams Jr. is looking out for his cohorts around the league who are struggling during the coronavirus crisis.