Ottawa Redblacks’ quarterback Jeremiah Masoli released a statement on his Twitter account Tuesday night criticizing the Saskatchewan Roughriders and defensive tackle Garrett Marino following the aftermath of his illegal hit this past weekend at Mosaic Stadium.
Thanks to everyone for reaching out in support of my family and I, it means a lot to all of us.
I’ve seen the poor and uninformed excuses given by Saskatchewan’s Head Coach and no apology from Garrett Marino, Coach Dickenson, or any executive from Saskatchewan.
After playing 12 games and already with a previous ejection and two fines before this incident, it is clear Garrett Marino cannot control himself.
The welfare and safety of CFL players do matter and we should not have to worry about those who consistently cannot play within the rules. It’s an unacceptable pattern of behaviour on top of the embarrassing way he celebrated as I was down shows how proud he is of his dirty ways.
The worst of it is the vile and disrespectful type of behaviour and racial insults that were made towards me more than once. In the CFL we say our diversity is our strength, so there should be no place for the racial hate. It’s been investigated and confirmed by the CFL and should not be tolerated — on or off the field. The insensitive comments made by coach Dickenson are indicative of how oblivious they are to these serious facts they choose to ignore.
The CFL has done and continues to do great work with communities of all backgrounds across Canada which is something we are proud of. It’s sad that the hate and racist attitudes and racial insults are going to be punished with a slap on the wrist. One game for racist insults is simply not enough in my opinion and hopefully, we can use this to promote growth and change for the better. We need to protect the integrity of the game.
Thank you for taking the time to hear me out with discernment. I’ll be preparing for surgery and look forward to the challenge of rehab and recovery.
Riders’ head coach Craig Dickenson spoke to 620 CKRM radio in Regina on Monday and denied that Marino intended to hurt Masoli, though he acknowledged the hit was low and deserved to be penalized. He also expressed his disappointment in Marino’s celebration of the hit as he left the field following his ejection.
Dickenson declared that Marino was not a racist in the same interview, stating the defensive tackle’s fiancée and best friend are both black. Dickenson later apologized for those comments on Twitter, calling them “racially insensitive and irrelevant.”
The original interview was conducted shortly before the CFL announced that Marino had been suspended for four total games, including a one-game suspension for “verbal comments Marino made about [Jeremiah] Masoli’s heritage during the game.”
Marino was also handed a two-game suspension for his illegal hit on Masoli that will force him to miss the next ten-to-twelve weeks due to injury. He was also suspended one game for a hit on Redblacks’ offensive tackle Dino Boyd.
As of the publishing of this article, Marino has not offered an apology to Masoli.