Canadian QB Nathan Rourke ‘disappointed’ with how CFL, Argos have handled Chad Kelly harassment allegations

Courtesy: AP Photo/Adrian Kraus

NFL quarterback Nathan Rourke has expressed his displeasure with the Canadian Football League over their handling of the allegations against reigning Most Oustanding Player Chad Kelly.

In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Thursday afternoon, the Canadian signal caller called out the league and the Toronto Argonauts for the slow pace of their investigation.

“I’m disappointed with the lack of urgency expressed by both the CFL and the Toronto Argos. This issue must be viewed with the utmost seriousness and concern for the truth. What example are we setting for boys and girls across Canada if we can’t practice what we preach? #BeMORE”

Rourke’s tweet came in response to a report by Sportsnet‘s Arash Madani which indicated that some female staff at the league office had resigned over concerns with how commissioner Randy Ambrosie and other senior staff were handling the situation. Madani’s post was itself a quote-tweet of a report from 3DownNation‘s Justin Dunk, detailing new claims added to the lawsuit on Tuesday, April 2.

A former strength and conditioning coach filed the suit against Kelly and the Argonauts on Wednesday, February 21, alleging a pattern of sexual harassment by the quarterback over the past two seasons. The plaintiff also claims the team wrongfully terminated her after she brought forward her concerns.

None of the allegations made have been proven in court. The Argonauts filed an intent to defend on Tuesday, February 27. Kelly released a statement on social media on Friday, March 1 denying the allegations, though it was deleted later that day.

Kelly’s lawyer, Nancy M. Shapiro from Koskie Minsky LLP, provided the following statement earlier this week: “We do not believe the claims made against Mr. Kelly have any merit and we are taking steps to defend the action.”

3DownNation asked for comment from the plaintiff’s lawyers, the Argonauts, and their lawyer but did not receive a reply.

Commissioner Ambrosie told the media in Vancouver on Thursday, February 29 that the league had hired an independent investigator to probe the allegations. The CFL has provided no further update on the case and said they will not be commenting until the investigation has been completed.

Rourke was the face of the league during the 2022 season, completing 78.7 percent of his passes for 3,349 yards, 25 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 10 games for the B.C. Lions. He also ran 39 times for 304 yards and seven touchdowns, winning Most Outstanding Canadian. The Oakville, Ont. native parlayed that success into an NFL opportunity, signing with the Jacksonville Jaguars and later joining the New England Patriots, with whom he remains under contract.

Kelly replaced Rourke as the league’s most recognizable star, coming off the bench to secure a Grey Cup victory in 2022 before taking over the starting job in 2023. The 30-year-old led Toronto to a record 16-2 regular season, throwing for 4,123 yards, 23 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. He added 41 carries for 248 yards and eight touchdowns, taking home the league’s M.O.P. award.

CFL training camps are scheduled to open in one month on Sunday, May 12. General manager Pinball Clemons told the media last month that the Argos are preparing for Kelly to be the team’s starting quarterback this season.