CFL opens investigation into allegations made against Toronto Argos, Chad Kelly

Photo: Reuben Polansky/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

The Canadian Football League has started its inquest into the lawsuit filed against the Toronto Argonauts and franchise quarterback Chad Kelly.

According to a report from TSN’s Rick Westhead, a former female strength and conditioning coach is suing the Argos for alleged wrongful dismissal and Kelly for alleged harassment.

CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie issued the following statement on Wednesday afternoon:

“The CFL is committed to creating healthy and positive working and playing environments for all those associated with the league and its member clubs.

​We take the allegations against the Toronto Argonauts and Mr. Kelly very seriously and we have opened an investigation in accordance with the league’s Gender-based Violence Policy.

​Out of respect for this process and all the parties involved, we will not be able to provide further comment until our investigation has been completed.”

3DownNation has asked the league for its detailed gender-based violence policy.

The plaintiff seeks $295,603 from the Argonauts and $50,000 from Kelly. She claims the Argos breached the CFL’s violence against women policy by not submitting a critical incident report to the league’s head office.

The allegations have not been proven in court. The Argonauts, on Kelly’s behalf, provided 3DownNation with the following statement:

“The club is aware of a legal claim made by a former employee against the team and Mr. Kelly. The organization will not comment on private personnel matters or ongoing litigation but is steadfast in its commitment to providing a safe and inclusive work environment.”

Kelly signed with the Argos ahead of the 2022 season and came off the bench to lead the Double Blue to victory in the 109th Grey Cup. After leading Toronto to a franchise record 16 regular-season wins in 2023, including a 15-1 mark as a starter, he was named the league’s Most Outstanding Player this past November.

As the starting QB last year, Kelly completed 68.5 percent of his passes for 4,123 yards with 23 touchdowns versus 12 interceptions. The 29-year-old carried the ball 41 times for 248 yards and eight touchdowns.

The Buffalo, N.Y. native signed a three-year contract extension with the Argonauts last August, which was restructured for him to earn $585,000 in hard money, including $100,000 in marketing cash, for the 2024 season.

The six-foot-two, 216-pound QB was selected in the seventh round, 253rd overall during the 2017 NFL Draft. He spent parts of four seasons south of the border with the Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts, earning over $1.14 million USD while in the NFL.

Editor’s note: This story originally stated that the plaintiff was seeking $85,714 from the Argonauts. TSN’s Rick Westhead has since acknowledged that number as an error in his original report and the story has been updated to reflect the correct amount.

Justin Dunk is a football insider, sports reporter and anchor.