CFL fans are desperate for an update on the status of the 2021 regular season.
Though we may receive new information on April 19, TSN’s Glen Suitor finds the lack of communication from the league office frustrating.
“The way you do right by people is communicating,” Suitor told Derek Taylor on The Sportscage. “That doesn’t mean you have to announce, ‘This is the day’ because that’s still unknown and there’s still uncertainty. But right now you do right by people by communicating and that’s not happening.”
Sportsnet’s Arash Madani reported last week that the league is expected to postpone the start of the 2021 schedule, which is currently slated to kick-off the preseason on May 23 in Winnipeg.
“There’s been this tendency in normal times to make sure you’ve got everything lined up properly,” said Suitor. “This is not normal times. This is crisis management. The ecosystem of football in our country is at stake, plus much, much more. Communication in uncertain times is true leadership and we’re not seeing it right now and it is frustrating.”
The three-time CFL all-star doesn’t expect the league to have one finalized plan as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause changes to protocols. He does, however, expect the league to be transparent about its various return-to-play scenarios.
“We should be seeing weekly reports from the league office because the bottom line is that the stakeholders need to know scenario A, B and C,” said Suitor. “I think every report right now is, ‘We’re going to play at some time.’ But if you give us A, B, and C and even D being another cancelled season, and say, ‘It’s gotta be flexible, these aren’t hard dates, but these are the three options that are possible,’ that’s what the stakeholders want to hear.”
“You don’t have to break news every Monday in your press conference, you just have to be communicating. Be out there filling the void, saying, ‘Listen, we’ve talked to the Alberta medical professionals. They’re pretty good with the things so far — nothing new to report there, but we’re getting closer.'”
There have been reports that at least one team does not want to play in 2021 for fear of losing too much money. Suitor has a simple answer to ending those discussions.
“The owners could come out and say, ‘We are committed to playing with medical approval’ so the speculation game could be put aside.”