Nine participants selected for CFL’s 2023 Diversity in Football program

Photo courtesy: CFL

The Canadian Football League announced the nine participants in this year’s Diversity in Football Program.

Through the program, one participant from a diverse cultural background will join each team’s football operations department for four weeks from the start of training camp on May 14 until June 3.

• Montreal: Tara Mrakic | Lasalle, Que.
• Ottawa: Gregory Coates-Cameron | Guelph, Ont.
• Toronto: Nicolas Larrieux | Montreal
• Hamilton: Matt Bucknor | Hamilton, Ont.
• Winnipeg: Alysha Emerson | Mississauga, Ont.
• Saskatchewan: Jack Louisdort | Toronto
• Calgary: Jabari Arthur | Calgary
• Edmonton: Greig Longchamps | Montreal
• BC: Khaalid Hicks | Longueuil, Que.

“The importance of growing our game – reaching new communities and engaging more people – goes beyond our league,” said CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie.

“This program reflects the need to create a sustainable and inclusive future for our great game and for regions and communities from coast to coast to coast. For us, that starts by creating a more welcoming and open environment with a foundation rooted in respect for all peoples and the inclusion of new and different views.”

“We are proud to support the CFL in championing greater diversity and inclusion in football, by creating meaningful employment opportunities and reflecting diverse lived experiences in our places of work,” said Nigel Branker, Chief Executive Officer, Securian Canada.

“As a purpose-driven organization that prioritizes embedding diversity, equity and inclusion in everything we do, we are pleased to be planting seeds of change to help create meaningful careers for diverse Canadians.”

Two members of the 2023 cohort are former CFL players. Matt Bucknor played defensive back for six seasons with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Calgary Stampeders and B.C. Lions from 2012-2017.

Jabari Arthur spent eight seasons in the CFL with the Calgary Stampeders and Winnipeg Blue Bombers, and won two Grey Cups during his time with the Stamps. Since retiring, Arthur has been a coach with the University of Calgary Dinos, first as their receivers coach from 2017-2021 and last year became the team’s offensive coordinator.

Following his completion of the program last year, Nathan Taylor of LaSalle, Que., was hired by the Ottawa Redblacks as the team’s running backs coach.