Solomon Elimimian knows private versus public comments by CFL owners about 2020 season don’t match

Screenshot courtesy: Saskatchewan Roughriders

Veteran CFL linebacker Solomon Elimimian knows how to read his keys — on and off the field.

The CFL Players’ Association president worked with the league on a blueprint for a potential shortened 2020 season using Winnipeg as its hub city. Ultimately, the board of governors voted not to play amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I was told that some teams didn’t want to play, now publicly every team, every owner said they wanted to play football. It comes down to structure, it comes down to governance, why we weren’t able to [play], only they can answer those questions,” Elimimian told Sportsnet.

“I’m not a critic of Randy [Ambrosie] because I know he has a very tough job, but you have to give the commissioner the power and the tools to be successful. I don’t believe, regardless of who is commissioner, the CFL is set-up for success. I hope they understand that.”

Screenshot courtesy: Saskatchewan Roughriders

For the long-term benefit and success of the league, Elimimian believes the structure has to be changed. There can’t be nine individual teams making decisions mostly based on what’s best for each franchise. Collectively, the CFL has to come together and take mutually beneficial steps together — league office, teams and players in unison.

“The biggest hinderance of our league is structure. The governance, the accountability, and I don’t want to be critical. Sometimes when we say things it’s not about being critical, it’s about being positive in terms of things we know we need to change — that’s collectively,” Elimimian said.

“We’re at the crossroads of making sure that our league, which is very important to so many people, is able to survive, and not just survive, but in due time we can thrive. Everything needs to be examined critically and there needs to be accountability in terms of how we move forward.”