CFL Players’ Association lawyers examining league’s ‘unilateral’ COVID-19 vaccine travel policy

Photo courtesy: CFLPA

The Canadian Football League Players’ Association has distributed the following memo to its membership following a recent report regarding unvaccinated players being barred from the Grey Cup playoffs.


Your CFLPA received the CFL’s unilateral travel policy last evening. Our lawyers and counsel are examining the CFL’s decision and we are awaiting the Federal Governments clarification on the pending travel restrictions. We will continue to remain in talks with the CFL and the Federal Government as we seek clarity on the validity of the CFL’s policy. Please keep informed through your Player Reps and Association, while not relying on information from any other sources.

Yours in solidarity,


CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie said in August that he wishes he could mandate that players get vaccinated, but is unable to due to the league’s collective bargaining agreement. Ambrosie had stated the league was operating under “informed guidance” that charter flights won’t be exempt from the federal government’s ban, which has since been confirmed for Nov. 30.

As per the CFL’s coronavirus policy: if a team can prove that 85 per cent of its players under contract have been vaccinated, at least once and preferably fully, the athletes will receive their salary for a cancelled game. If a franchise falls below the 85 percent threshold, the entire team will not receive its salary.

The 2021 season has proceeded relatively unaffected by the ongoing pandemic, aside from the outbreak suffered by the Edmonton Elks in August. 13 players were infected with the virus amid the team’s outbreak, which resulted in the rescheduling of a game between the Elks and Argonauts.

Justin Dunk is a football insider, sports reporter and anchor.