Saskatchewan Roughriders linebacker Solomon Elimimian said on Twitter Sunday “there is no place for racial injustice,” encouraging other players to “speak out and use their platform for positive change!”
Elimimian, who’s also the current president of the CFL Players’ Association, included with the post a letter he wrote on CFLPA letterhead that outlined his own experience with racism.
Elimimian recalled being pulled over by police who had their weapons drawn when driving with a friend in Los Angeles years ago.
“We were roughed up, handcuffed, harassed and humiliated as we sat on the curb and treated like criminals as my friend’s car was searched,” he said.
Elimimian said his experiences with law enforcement during his college days in Hawaii, and then while living in Canada, was “drastically different” but added he’s “not ignorant to the fact that racism exists everywhere.”
“There is a deep systemic oppression and racism that needs to be rooted out in society; and it starts by speaking our against it,” Elimimian continued. “We must combat evil with good by shining a light on darkness.”
The CFL released a statement condemning racism “in all of its forms, silent and systemic or blatant and violent,” while commissioner Randy Ambrosie also added his voice to the issue.
“I cannot pretend, coming from a place of privilege, to understand what it feels like for those whose lives are marked by the racism they must face every day,” Ambrosie tweeted. “But I can stand with them. And I always will.”