Argos’ DL Ja’Gared Davis apologizes to spurned Ticats fans: ‘I thank y’all from the bottom of my heart’

Photo courtesy: Bob Butrym

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats have some of the most diehard fans in the CFL and many of them were upset when Ja’Gared Davis signed with the Toronto Argonauts. The star defensive end spoke to the media on Wednesday and used the opportunity to express his appreciation for the fans in Steeltown.

“I thank y’all from the bottom of my heart. I really appreciate y’all for welcoming me in with open arms and letting me be a part of something great,” said Davis via videoconference. “I apologize for hurting y’all feelings, but y’all will always second to none in my heart.”

Davis has received a large number of messages from Hamilton fans over the past three weeks — some positive and some negative — and he understands why many are upset about his departure. He described his decision to leave Hamilton as “very hard,” saying that he discussed it with a number of teammates and coaches with whom he remains close.

“That’s family now. The stuff we was able to do and accomplish, it was nothing less than monumental in my opinion. Regardless of how the season ended, the bonds and the heritage that comes out of being part of an organization like the Hamilton Tiger-Cats is second to none. Parting ways with family is always hard, but I felt at this point in time in my career it was the best thing for me,” said Davis.

The 31-year-old recorded 93 tackles, 19 sacks, and three forced fumbles over two seasons with the Ticats, both of which ended with an appearance in the Grey Cup. He remains close with many members of the organization but is looking forward to the next chapter of his career with the Argos.

“I’m trying to accomplish goals in life and being part of what (general manager Michael) Pinball (Clemons) is trying to do over here bringing in this slew of guys, every guy has his own ‘it’ factor to him. I could go down the line and call up every guy that I know on this football team and tell you what their ‘it’ factor is, so being able to come in and add to it in any way possible, that was part of the things that made my decision a little easier,” he said.

Fans in Hamilton will be seeing plenty of Davis in 2022 even if he’s wearing double blue. The Ticats and Argos play four times this upcoming season with two meetings at Tim Hortons Field slated for Friday, Aug. 12 and Monday, Sept. 5 in the annual Labour Day Classic.

John Hodge is a Canadian football reporter based in Winnipeg.