Argos QB Kelly denies harassment allegations made by former coach

A former Argonauts employee is suing the club for wrongful dismissal and quarterback Chad Kelly for alleged violations of the Ontario Human Rights Code. (Nathan Denette/CP)

Toronto Argonauts quarterback Chad Kelly is denying allegations that he harassed a former employee of the CFL club.

The complainant said in a statement of claim filed with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice that she was subject to continued harassment from Kelly, beginning with unwanted romantic advances and escalating into instances of threatening language.

The coach said the club did not act when told of Kelly’s behavior and accused assistant general manager John Murphy of saying the report “opened a can of worms that didn’t need to be opened.”

The coach said a contract with the Argonauts was not renewed shortly after informing the team of Kelly’s alleged behaviour.

In a statement sent to The Associated Press on Friday, Kelly said he was “shocked” by the allegations against him and will seek dismissal of the lawsuit.

“I am shocked by the allegations which have been made against me. I absolutely deny these events and intend to vigorously defend myself and will be seeking the dismissal of the action,” Kelly said in the statement.

The allegations have not been tested in court. The CFL says it has launched an investigation and is taking the allegations “very seriously.”

“The Toronto Argonauts share the CFL’s commitment to providing healthy and positive work environments,” the team statement reads. “The organization will reserve any further comment until the conclusion of the league’s investigation.”

The coach said they were told Jan. 29 that their contract would not be renewed. The coach is seeking $80,000 from Kelly and a total of $85,714 from the Argonauts.

The Canadian Press does not publish the names of alleged victims of harassment or sexual assault unless granted permission.

Kelly, named the CFL’s most outstanding player last season, is the nephew of Pro Football Hall of Fame Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly and was the final pick of the 2017 NFL draft.

–with files from The Associated Press

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