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Sunday, May 20, 2018

Justin Cox banned by CFL after domestic violence incident

The commissioner of the Canadian Football League flexed his muscles after a player was released for a domestic violence incident.

Justin Cox was released by the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Wednesday after the team was made aware of an alleged incident involving domestic violence by the defensive back. According to CBC News, authorities were called to a residence on Sunday and found a woman who had injuries typically associated with a physical assault. Cox was taken into custody.

The 24-year-old, who was arrested for domestic violence while at Mississippi State, took to Twitter Wednesday afternoon to proclaim his innocence. He also apologized to fans and thanked the Roughriders for giving him an opportunity.

Not only did the Roughriders issue a statement, but commissioner Jeffrey L. Orridge did as well. In it, he said he will refuse to register the contract if another team decides to sign Cox. Here’s Orridge’s statement in its entirety.

Earlier today, the Saskatchewan Roughrider Football Club released Justin Cox after being informed of an incident involving domestic violence. Our clubs have been informed that should any team decide to sign Mr. Cox to a Standard Player Contract, I will refuse to register that contract. This authority rests with the Commissioner under our league’s Constitution.

The Canadian Football League is committed to doing its part to eradicate violence against women. As is stated in our Policy on Violence Against Women, “the CFL condemns violence against women in all of its forms, including domestic violence, sexual violence, sexual assault, and verbal abuse, as well as the disrespectful and demeaning attitudes that foster violence or the tolerance of such violence.” In keeping with the policy, the CFL has worked with Saskatchewan to ensure appropriate outreach is made to local police and support and counseling services. We must all do what we can to ensure the safety of women and to urge perpetrators to seek the help they need to change their behaviour and stop the violence.

-CFL Commissioner Jeffrey L. Orridge

It goes without saying, domestic violence is a serious issue and should be treated as such. That said, for Orridge to exercise the power granted him in this way is pretty astonishing. Saying you condemn violence against women is one thing. To take this measure is another and shows it’s not just words.

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