Riders’ Duke Williams appears to throw helmet at Shaquille Richardson during warmups for 2022 Touchdown Atlantic game

Photo courtesy: Justin Dunk

Saskatchewan Roughriders’ star receiver Duke Williams was angry during warmups ahead of this year’s edition of Touchdown Atlantic.

The events leading up to the incident remain unclear but Williams appeared to throw a helmet at Toronto Argonauts’ defensive back Shaquille Richardson as part of a heated altercation.

Brandon Banks was between Williams and Richardson when the helmet throw occurred. Head coach Ryan Dinwiddie held his veteran defender back from going after Williams while Riders’ defensive line coach Ben Olson and running back Frankie Hickson rushed over behind Williams.

TSN’s Matthew Scianitti reported that the “league felt [the altercation] broke up quick and didn’t warrant ejection” though it is “fair to expect supplementary discipline (is) coming for Duke Williams.”

The 30-year-old Richardson entered the CFL in 2016 and Williams came to the league in 2017. The two have matched up multiple times over their careers in Canada.

In 2019, Montreal Alouettes’ quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. pulled the helmet off Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ linebacker Adam Bighill and swung it at the star defender in-game. A penalty was assessed on the play for general roughness, but it should have been an ejection based on past precedent and the CFL’s rulebook.

A player shall be disqualified from the game, and substitution permitted, for any act of serious misconduct, including but not limited to:

  1. Rough Play against an opponent,
  2. two Grade 2 Unnecessary Roughness fouls,
  3. physical abuse of an official,
  4. excessive objectionable conduct against an opponent or an official,
  5. wearing of hazardous equipment.

CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie reviewed the incident, made a statement about player safety and suspended Adams Jr. for one game. There should be a least a review of the incident between Williams and Richardson with supplementary discipline possible.