Ambrosie Talks About CFL Seasonal Issues
Commissioner of the Canadian Football League Randy Ambrosie wrapped up the end of his second season when Grey Cup week in Edmonton came to a close. He also recently gave his annual State of the League address to an eager crowd of sports enthusiasts.
In an interview, CBC Sports sat down with Ambrosie over in Edmonton to ask him about numerous issues, ranging from a possible expansion to the safety of the CFL’s players. The commissioner was first asked about the ‘concussion question’ and the link between football and CTE (Chronic traumatic encephalopathy). The issue is brought up every year during the State of the League address, and Ambrosie would ask how it would be tackled this year.
CTE Labelled a Universal Issue
Ambrosie responded by saying that he has spoken to some of the world’s best doctors and neuroscientists, all of whom say that it is complicated. The brain, he said, is a complex organ, much about which we still do not know. He emphasized the fact that CTE is not just a football issue, but rather one that affects sports across the globe with almost 4 million concussions in North America each year alone. A vast majority of these, he said, come from simple falls, meaning that concussions are an issue that must be tackled as a society.
CBC Sports then asked Ambrosie about his opinions on the player safety debate. The commissioner noted that he tries not to think about it in terms of frustration, but is rather willing to do everything he can to make the game safe. The issue, he added, is one that will take continuous work and improvement through taking out padded practices, which has resulted in a 30% reduction in practice injuries over the past season.
Ambrosie Stands by Rose Ruling
The next question focussed on whether Ambrosie thought that the Ottawa Redblacks’ Jonathan Rose be allowed to play during the upcoming Sunday game after being suspended for getting physical with the referee. He said that the ruling the CFL made ‘stands on its own’, especially since it is a steadfast rule in sports not to go after the officials or touch them in any way. If that is sacrificed, he said, the moral high ground will also go out the window, ultimately leading to anarchy.
Ambrosie also chatted about reports that the CFL will be playing games in Mexico next season, saying that it first started when he spoke to a board of governors about recognition of cities’ diversity. Having a game in Mexico would be great, he said, and is definitely something his organization is scouting. Last but not least, he also assured CBC that the CFL is working on raising minimum salaries for its players, and is dedicated to working out a deal that is fair both for players and teams in the league.