CFLPA unveils new fan code of conduct after East Final incident, Chris Edwards eligible to play following reduced suspension

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/

The Canadian Football League Players’ Association has unveiled a new CFL fan code of conduct that has been enshrined in the league’s latest collective bargaining agreement.

The code of conduct stems from an incident following the 2021 East Final in Toronto, in which visiting Ticats fans clashed with Argonauts players as they were heading to the locker room following their loss to Hamilton. The altercation turned physical and a number of Argos were caught on video climbing into the stands, which ultimately resulted in a six-game suspension for strongside linebacker Chris Edwards to be served in 2022.

The CFLPA later filed a grievance on behalf of Edwards, which went to arbitration. As part of the settlement process, Edwards’ suspension was reduced to three games and the league agreed to work with the union on implementing a fan code of conduct that is to be prominently displayed at all CFL game venues.

The language of that code of conduct was negotiated as part of the collective bargaining agreement that was struck on May 26 but is just now being made public by the union. The full text can be read below.

CFL/CFLPA Fan Code of Conduct

The CFL and its Member Clubs are committed to creating a safe, comfortable and enjoyable experience for its fans. CFL fans have a right to expect an environment in which they will be treated with respect by venue, team and League personnel. The Players and Officials have the same rights. Accordingly, fans are responsible for their own conduct.

Violation of the Fan Code of Conduct may result in ejection from the venue without a ticket refund, and/or a ban from future CFL games.

The following behaviors are prohibited:

  • Behavior that is unruly, disruptive or illegal in nature
  • Over-intoxication or other signs of alcohol or substance impairment
  • Offensive language or obscene gestures, including the use of such language or gestures concerning a person’s race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age or disability; or to instigate, incite or encourage a confrontation or physical assault
  • Interference with the progress of the game (including throwing objects onto the field)
  • Failing to follow instructions of stadium personnel

The CFL has a zero tolerance policy to any form of racism or racial discrimination aimed at its Players, Officials or CFL Personnel. 

The CFL and its Member Clubs thank you for adhering to the provisions of the Fan Code of Conduct.

Based on the deal struck in arbitration, Chris Edwards has now served his suspension and will be eligible to play when the Argonauts return from their Week 5 bye.

According to the CFL, Edwards’ reduced punishment was contingent on him acknowledging in writing that he engaged in serious misconduct “regardless of provocation” and assuring the league that “this misconduct shall not happen again.”