Edmonton Elks ‘honour’ Joey Moss who has been ‘terribly missed’ by the organization

Photo courtesy: Edmonton Elks

Edmonton legend Joey Moss is being honoured by the green and gold with decals on their helmets for the 2021 CFL season.

The Elks have one on every helmet and it reads:
1963 – 2020

“We wanted to honour him by using those decals and I know he’s terribly missed in this organization and on the field by a lot of the guys. It’s unfortunate that more people on this team didn’t get a chance to know who he is,” head coach Jaime Elizondo said.

Moss became a household name with the Edmonton Oilers and the EE Football Team working as a lock room attendant for both organizations starting in the 1980s. Players and fans alike looked up to Moss for his passion, positive attitude and incredible work ethic. He taught many people about acceptance and inclusivity through his work and community involvement with both organizations.

“There’s no doubt Joey was a special person. I didn’t have the privilege of spending time with him, but all the stories I’ve heard about him would just really touch your heart,” Elizondo said.

The Elks paid tribute to Moss with the creation of a new award. The Joey Moss Award is given to a player at the end of training camp who’s persevered through adversity and embodies Joey’s positivity in everything he does.

The winner of this year’s belt is Jonathan Rose, who was an East Division all-star with the Ottawa Redblacks in 2016 and 2018 before undergoing spinal surgery. He was cleared to play in June 2020 and signed with the Elks in January 2021.

“We shared a video presentation that we did for Joey with the team and I think it brought tears to a lot of guys because that guy was a special dude,” Elizondo said.

“He helps us all and reminds us all of the importance of relationships, laughing, smiling, not taking things too seriously, being there for one another.”

Born with down syndrome, Mass was an incredible role model to all Edmontonians.
He helped start the Winnifred Stewart Association’s Empties to Winn fundraiser, which
supports programs and initiatives for people with disabilities in the Edmonton region.
Funds from his Home Trust, which started in 1988 with support from Edmontonians
and local organizations, were used to help open Joey’s Home in 2007, an assisted living
residence for people with developmental disabilities.

In 2018, with support from the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation, the Edmonton Down Syndrome Society opened the Joey Moss Literary Centre for Excellence. The centre
offers workshops, an on-site library and literacy resources, reading coaches and a speech
literacy consultant.

He also volunteered annually for the Edmonton Police Service’s Lifestyle Camp and attended many local charity events as a special guest and ambassador. Moss received many awards, including: the NHL Seventh Man All-Star Award in 2003, Services for Persons with Disabilities Award in 2007, the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Award in 2012, and the Marlin Styner Award in 2015. He was also inducted in the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame in 2015 and the Hall of Fame for Professional Hockey Athletic Trainers Society in 2017.

Moss’ rise to fame expanded beyond Edmonton as he became well-known on the North
American sports scene. People fondly remember seeing Moss on their TV with his hand over
his heart, singing the Canadian national anthem proudly at the top of his lungs before each
home game.

After Moss passed away in October 2020, the Joey Moss Memorial Fund was established.
Money raised is used to continue his legacy in the community by advocating for inclusive employment and meaningful opportunities for people with developmental disabilities to have the same opportunities as Joey, as well as to increase capacity at Joey’s Home to provide dementia care supports.