Riders’ DL Garrett Marino issues apology, will not appeal four-game suspension

Photo courtesy: CFL

The Saskatchewan Roughriders have issued a statement on behalf of defensive tackle Garrett Marino, who was suspended for four games on Monday following his ejection from last week’s game against the Ottawa Redblacks.

I have received my discipline from the CFL regarding the game we played on Friday, July 8th, 2022. I will not be appealing the suspensions given to me by the CFL and I have spoken to the Players’ Association who will not be appealing on my behalf.

I want to apologize for my actions that day, as I understand that they have no place in the game of football. I also apologize to Jeremiah Masoli of the Ottawa Redblacks, as I did not intend to injure him. I have tried over the past few days to connect with him directly and will continue to do so.

Regarding the comments I made during the game, I regret that I said them, as I now understand their consequences. This was not my intent when speaking on the field, nor is it ever my intent in my day-to-day life.

I know I play the game with an edge, and during the game I made an insensitive and culturally stereotypical remark. I now understand this was hurtful to my peers and I hope I can be forgiven for that misunderstanding.

I take pride in being a good teammate and a valued member of the Saskatchewan Roughriders Football Club. I did not intend for my comments or actions to be hurtful, and I take solace in my teammates, knowing that I stand with all of them, regardless of race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.

I will not be commenting on this matter again but will be working to better myself as I serve this discipline and prepare to rejoin my teammates on the field.

Garrett Marino

The second-year defensive tackle hit Jeremiah Masoli illegally in last week’s win over the Ottawa Redblacks and celebrated following his ejection from the game, flexing his arms and blowing kisses to the crowd.

Masoli will miss the next ten to twelve weeks with injury, while Marino has been suspended for a total of four games: two for the hit on Masoli, one for uttering racial language at Masoli, and one for an illegal hit on offensive tackle Dino Boyd.

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 before the CFL announced that Marino was being disciplined for uttering racial language at Masoli.