Piffles Piss-offs - Supplemental Discipline, Simoni Lawrence and the CFL
Published: Thursday, Sep 26th 2019, 8:09am
By: Stephen Safinuk (@Safimod)
A new segment here on PifflesPodcast.com will be a weekly rant article. Usually football related, occasionally not, but always full of ranty goodness.
Before I get going, I want to say. I like Simoni Lawrence. He’s been a great addition to the CFL over the years both on and off the field. By all accounts, he is a great community guy in Hamilton. We’ve even had him on our show in the past and had many fun interactions with the outgoing linebacker over the past few years. (Hey Simoni – stop ducking our race ;))
On Wednesday afternoon, the CFL announced that Simoni Lawrence had been fined the max fine (One half of a game check) for his hit on Logan Kilgore of the Edmonton Eskimos last weekend. If this hit stood alone, with no other discipline, I imagine a fine would likely have been enough for most people. Instead, this is the 3rd time in 2019 that Simoni Lawrence has faced supplemental discipline. Instead, this is the 2nd time in 2019 that Simoni Lawrence has faced supplemental discipline for a late avoidable hit on a QB in a defenseless position. In other leagues, you often see the discipline ramp up after subsequent actions, but instead, the CFL decided that a fine would send Simoni Lawrence a message that a 2-week vacation earlier this year did not.
But my rant isn’t aimed at Simoni Lawrence. There have been enough of those, and frankly there isn’t much point in piling on.
My rant is aimed at the CFL and its seeming lack of interest in protecting its players. My rant is aimed at the CFL’s supplemental discipline department for not sticking to their guns after putting their foot down in week 1.
Nick Usher has multiple fines this season for late hits. No suspensions. J.R. Tavai has been fined 3 times over the past 12 months for late hits, 2 of which caused a player to leave the game with a head injury.
Football is a fast game, and headshots are going to happen. But when they happen, the league needs to take a strong stance from the first hit. If that strong stance doesn’t get the message through, the discipline needs to increase not decrease. In a day and age where concussions and CTE are a main point of discussion in football, the CFL needs to do everything it can to protect players, their health and their lives after football. Repeat offenders, regardless of the colour of their laundry, need to be sent a message that enough is enough. Don’t even get me started on the ridiculous appeals process. In the next CBA, the league should set very specific punishments laid out for headshots and late hits.
First offense – 1 game
Second offense – 2 games
Third offense – 4 games
Allow the slate to be wiped clean after a certain period with no supplemental discipline (say, 2 years?) but enough of these arbitrary and miniscule punishments. If they can’t clean up their game, get them the hell off the field.