Bitter CFL rivals are banding together to commemorate an off-the-field tragedy, as the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Saskatchewan Roughriders will wear special helmet decals during Saturday’s Banjo Bowl to honour the victims of a stabbing spree in Saskatchewan last weekend.
The two teams announced the move via a joint statement on Friday.
“The Saskatchewan Roughriders and Winnipeg Blue Bombers stand together in remembering and honouring the victims of the horrific tragedy that took place in James Smith Cree Nation and the village of Weldon, Saskatchewan.
Both teams will wear special commemorative stickers on their helmets during Saturday’s game, and a moment of silence will be held prior to kickoff. The stickers will bear the letters “JSCN” (for James Smith Cree Nation] in red, the colour of healing in Cree culture.”
Ten people were killed and another 18 injured during a series of stabbings in the northern Saskatchewan community on Sunday, September 4. A province-wide manhunt was put into effect for the two suspects, Damien and Myles Sanderson, which later expanded to Manitoba and Alberta, causing the Riders to increase security at Mosaic Stadium for the Labour Day Classic being played that afternoon.
Damien Sanderson was found dead on Monday, while Myles Sanderson went into medical distress after being apprehended by police on Wednesday and was later pronounced dead at a hospital in Saskatoon.
The Bombers have announced a sell-out crowd for this Saturday at IG Field in Winnipeg. While that screaming horde is unlikely to have any love for the Riders, they will be standing together with their Saskatchewan neighbours in prairie solidarity for at least a moment this week.