Montreal Alouettes’ head coach Khari Jones gave an inspirational speech regarding Black History Month, which is coming to a close at the end of February.
“I think the way to truly make a difference during Black History Month is simply to learn more about Black history — Black history in Canada, Black history in North America, the immigration experience. There’s so many different stories and it’s so rich with overcoming obstacles and perseverance and figuring things out,” said Jones in a video for TSN.
“I’m so proud of my ancestors and the people that came before me because they paved the way for me to be here now, to do what I’m doing now, and I can never thank them for the sacrifices that they made.”
Jones received death threats while playing quarterback for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (2000-2004) because his wife, Justine, is white. The culprit was never caught — the threats were sent through the mail using a fake name — but Jones told the media in June 2020 that he still has the letters and occasionally reads through them.
“I think it’s important for all people to know where they came from, to know about other people’s experiences, and hopefully that brings us all together. And so during Black History Month, I hope people really take that time to learn and I hope it lasts not only Black History Month but the rest of the year,” said Jones.
“Hopefully it’s a lifetime of learning. That’s what I’m hoping.”
Jones is one of two Black head coaches in the CFL with the other being Orlondo Steinauer of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Steinauer also holds the role of president of football operations with the Ticats, while Michael ‘Pinball’ Clemons serves as the general manager for the Toronto Argonauts.