Saskatchewan Roughriders quarterback Cody Fajardo found out about the CFL’s new vaccination policy during a team meeting.
Head coach Craig Dickenson showed the Riders the league memo and made all the players aware of its details.
“It’s just the team trying to protect its players. I can just speak on my behalf, I got it because I believe that it’ll help me stay healthy, not miss games and to put myself in a situation to play all 14 games this year,” Fajardo said.
“That went into my decision. My wife is also a doctor, so it also helps when you have a doctor in the family telling you that you should get the vaccine. I’m glad that we’re talking about CFL football again and not going through are we going to play or not going to play.”
The CFL has introduced a policy that will apply to any game cancellations caused by COVID-19 issues. If a game cannot be played as scheduled because of a coronavirus outbreak, and it cannot be rescheduled:
- If one club is suffering from the COVID-19 issues, that club will forfeit the game and be assigned a loss while its’ opponent will be credited with a win by a score of 1-0.
- If both clubs are suffering from the COVID-19 issues, then both clubs will forfeit the game and be assigned a loss.
In both of those circumstances, if a team can prove that 85 percent of its players under contract have been vaccinated, at least once and preferably fully, its players will receive their salary for the cancelled game. If the team falls below that 85 percent threshold, the entire team will not receive its salary.
“I just did my part and hopefully I don’t miss a game cheque because getting vaccinated was part of my decision to hopefully be able to play and be able to make an earning for my family. It’s just a different world out there today,” Fajardo said.
“I’m not a big advocate to tell people what to do with their lives. I’m doing my part by getting vaccinated because I believe in it and I think, and my wife has told me, that it’s good to get it.”
As of the league-wide roster cutdown on Friday, July 30 there were 79 percent of CFL players fully or partially vaccinated. Three CFL teams have more than 85 percent of their players vaccinated. The other six teams, including the Riders, have vaccination rates ranging from 67 percent to 81 percent. Fajardo isn’t worried about interacting with unvaccinated teammates.
“Not at all. I think the biggest reason is I don’t know who is vaccinated and who is not. I’m not going around the locker room and asking guys,” Fajardo said.
“It’s not like you have to wear something that tells people you’re not vaccinated — I have no idea who is and who isn’t. For me it was just a decision to protect myself, I think it’s up to the player and personal beliefs.”