CFLPA: Hervey’s comments inappropriate

Edmonton Eskimos general manager Ed Hervey. (Dean Bennett/CP)

STONEY CREEK, Ont. — The Canadian Football League Players’ Association said Monday that it considers recent comments by Edmonton Eskimos general manager Ed Hervey to be "both inappropriate and contrary to the collective bargaining agreement" with the league.

Hervey singled out guard Simeon Rottier at a news conference last Tuesday, a day after his team dropped a 37-34 decision to the Calgary Stampeders. Quarterback Mike Reilly was sacked seven times in the loss.

Hervey said while some members of the offensive line have shown promise this season, he had lost patience with Rottier and the player would be indefinitely benched.

"The majority of my frustration has been with Simeon," Hervey said at the time. "Clearly Simeon is not living up to expectations. It wouldn’t bother me if he didn’t play another down this year."

CFLPA president Mike Morreale weighed in with a statement Monday.

"The collective bargaining agreement clearly prohibits clubs and their employees from publicly criticizing the on-field performance of any player in the CFL," he said. "The purpose of this provision is to ensure that all CFL players, as well as all CFL personnel, are dealt with in a manner that is respectful and professional, and the CFLPA will not tolerate anything less in the treatment of one of its players."

The CFL commissioner’s office has a history of responding quickly to punish players who make public comments that could be construed as derogatory in any way, the CFLPA statement said.

"Given how quick the league is to respond and punish CFL players for remarks it deems inappropriate, it is troubling that the CFL has made no public announcement of any action that has been taken in this matter," Morreale said. "The CFLPA expects the league to announce what disciplinary action has been taken against Mr. Hervey to ensure that this behaviour is not repeated in Edmonton or with any other CFL club."

A CFL spokesman said the league informed Hervey last week that his comments were inappropriate, went against the CBA, and is fully confident they won’t be repeated. There were no plans for disciplinary action.

The league also notified the CFLPA on Monday that the issue was discussed with Hervey last week, the spokesman added.

The Stampeders defeated the Eskimos 22-12 in a rematch last Friday. Rottier was replaced on the offensive line by Cliff Louis.

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