Edmonton Elks running back James Wilder Jr. enjoys playing with his six-pack showing like a superhero, but head coach Jaime Elizondo wants him to follow the uniform rules.
Prior to the green and gold’s season-opening loss to the Ottawa Redblacks, referees talked with Wilder Jr. about his way of wearing his jersey: crop top style.
“That’s always been my swag, I get it from my dad. It’s a retro look, back in the day that’s how the jerseys were made in the 1980s, so I’m trying to replicate that,” Wilder Jr said.
“Sometimes the refs don’t bother me, sometimes they know it’s my thing, sometimes the refs will tell me to pull it down, but eventually when you try to pull it down, it slides up and I’m like: ‘Ref I can’t do it every play.’ I enjoy it — looks good, right? I’ve been getting some criticism on Twitter, but I think it looks good.”
In his debut with Edmonton, Wilder Jr. was productive rushing 15 times for 89 yards and catching nine passes for 72 yards. That performance made him the CFL’s leader in yards from scrimmage after Week 1. However, for Week 2, Elizondo wants Wilder Jr. to follow the rules.
“Having the jersey tucked up, that’s just a rules violation, you can’t play the game that way. That one is simple. We do everything the way that it should be done during the game and that was addressed and we need to move on from that,” Elizondo said.
“All those things that come into uniform rules, we need to make sure that we’re doing all those things. You still want these guys to be themselves. You want those guys to have their identity and their personality, you never want to take that away from them.”