Riders players’ union rep Brett Lauther: ‘We haven’t had any support from the CFL’

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com

Canadian kicker Brett Lauther believes the Canadian Football League can do more for its players.

Lauther is the Saskatchewan Roughriders CFL Players’ Association representative. He’s been involved in the discussions with the league office as the two sides try and work through the seemingly endless issues the COVID-19 pandemic have posed. Most importantly for the athletes, many players have not been paid since last November.

“At this point, a lot of guys are working other jobs and doing other things and I don’t blame them. We haven’t had really any support from the CFL where a lot of other people have from different resources or employers working together with their employees. Guys had to take it into their own hands, the ones I’ve been talking to,” Lauther said on 620 CKRM’s SportsCage.

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 since the coronavirus crisis hit. The CFL presented a scenario for a potential six-game 2020 season which would see players self-isolate in quaratine for up to 105 days or 15 weeks in a hub concept for one-third of their base salary and performance bonuses. However, it was tied to an acceptable level of government financial support or assistance.

“There is still a wait on the government, and I know they’re moving along quickly, but we obviously have a ton of issues and things to work through and it doesn’t seem like we have very much time,” Lauther said.

July 23 was the arbitrary deadline set by the CFL’s player relations committee for completing all the checklists and agreements with the union. It’s less than a week away as time is ticking quickly. The CFLPA was sent the conditions the league office would want the players to agree to for a hub city model on Saturday, July 4, which left less than three weeks for negotiations.

“At this stage right now, with how many questions there are,” Lauther said, “I wouldn’t sign off that we’re going to [have a season] but things change quick. It’s an ongoing process.”