Two CFL players fined for social media comments about Michael Sam

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There’s been a non-stop stream of reactions to Michael Sam’s public revelation that he’s gay over the last three days and two CFL players have been reprimanded by the league for their responses on social media.

Montreal slotback Arland Bruce III suggested Sam “get on your knees and submit to God fully” among less printable suggestions in a diatribe that also featured a misspelling of the word “gay.” Winnipeg defensive tackle Bryant Turner tweeted and deleted that Sam’s locker room “would come with complimentary robes,” which is far less profane but deemed worthy of a fine all the same.

The comments made by these players are extremely disappointing and do not represent the CFL’s views or the views of the vast majority of our players,” CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon said. “The CFL is supportive of openly gay athletes in professional sports and we commend the courage shown by Michael Sam. During the off-season, we have been working with an organization that specializes in this subject and look forward to announcing a formal partnership with them in the near future.”

The amount of the fines were not announced.

34 responses to “Two CFL players fined for social media comments about Michael Sam

  1. People getting raped, murdered, and molested throughout the world and THIS is what makes the news….pathetic.

    Talk to Hank Aaron about some REAL bigotry and get back to me.

  2. This is more relevant than you might think, since some NFL scouts apparently think that the CFL will be where Sam will end up eventually.

  3. Oh, I just noticed that he’s originally from Olathe, KS (I live in Topeka). That tells me a lot right there. That’s a normal view for people from there.

  4. This is beautiful! I haven’t had this much fun in 48 hours since I don’t know when! I love The CFL!

  5. Of course you’re free to say whatever you want! However, your employer is also free to punish you if they perceive what you’ve said disrupts their cash flow in any way, shape or form. Sometimes it’s just a better idea to be thought of as a fool than to open your virtual mouth and remove all doubt.

  6. I wonder if all the people saying “people can say whatever they want etc” would have the same views if they were racist?

    The fact of the matter is, people are gay, it really doesn’t make any difference to anyone, just play football. This is what happens in every other workplace, why should sport be any different.


  8. I find this to be pretty outrageous. I haven’t looked up the full context of what these two posted, but even if it is offensive their employers have zero right to fine them for their speech on a social media site that is not corporately owned. I just don’t understand how personal views expressed on individually (not corporately) operated social media is subject to a corporate fine or discipline. The exact opposite is true in my work environment. We are encouraged to leave our personal life outside the front door when we walk into work, and our personal life is separate from our professional life. When people get into trouble is when their personal life gets brought into the workplace and it begins to interfere with their professional life. This entire situation is the opposite of what most people do everyday. My employer has no right to search out my personal statements in my social media, and they have no right to attempt to censor, control, or later punish those statements. And if they attempted to do so without me bringing up those views or statements in the work environment, then I’m pretty positive I would have a great lawsuit aimed back at my employer in response. This entire issue and situation is reversed from reality.

    Also, to imply that an owner or G.M. is bigoted and deserving of a lawsuit when they don’t want to deal with the extra baggage or media coverage that comes from hiring Mr. Sam (but it was perfectly acceptable for T.O. or Tebow to have those factors contribute to them not getting jobs) is an unfair double standard.

    If it turns out that Mr. Sam goes undrafted, has his draft stock fall, or doesn’t get a 2nd contract in the league because of this issue, then it’s the fault of the media and not the G.M. or owner’s fault for not wanting to put up with the media. I hope he does well in the NFL, but I think a lot of damage has already been done by the press. Ironically, they are harming the cause they want to promote.

  9. Worst thing about these guys with a III at the end of their name popping off, is that you know there are probably a couple other guys just as dumb running around out there somewhere.

  10. Let’s try this again and see if it gets posted….two American idiots making comments that are inappropriate making the CFL look bad…

  11. It goes to show how irrelevant the Gophers have been in, well, forever. I’m a Gopher alumn dating back to the last time they sniffed relevance (read Lou Holtz) and I don’t recognize this guy’s name at all.

    As for whether the CFL should have fined them, I work for a large company and I am confident there would be organizational repercussions if I made such statements in a way that reflected badly on the company or could make others in the organization feel they are working in a hostile environment. The same would be true if I used vulgarity while making disparaging remarks about a person’s race, religion (including Christianity) or social background. Why would any organization want to alienate potential customers or employees by such behavior when it can be avoided by simply being respectful of others? It ain’t PC. It is free enterprise at work.

  12. PhinFan: A) freedom of speech applies in the US, not canada.

    B) Freedom of speech simply means this: You can say what you want to say, but you will be held accountable for what you say. Basically we won’t chop your head off like in extremist countries, but you will have to deal with and be held accountable for anything backlash resulting from what you said.

  13. The world i live in now is not the one i grew up in. If you were not cool or normal you had to take your lumps, that simple. There was no sissy brigade to protect the meek.

  14. Unfortunately your going to have ignorance all over this issue, and yes you do have the right of free speech and by all means say what you like, that will just prove how ignorant and pointless you really are

  15. phinfan says: Feb 11, 2014 8:22 PM

    Freedom of Speech isn’t so much FREE anymore… it comes with some cost.


    Freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom of consequences. People can say whatever bigoted thing they want, but that doesn’t mean we have to shake their hand and give them a ribbon…

  16. cuda1234 says: Feb 11, 2014 5:12 PM

    Cross the gays and you will pay. Tolerance only cuts one way.

    You notice it too, STR8’s have to be tolerant but Gays do not. Inside you know its a one way street when it comes to equality and opinions.

  17. If people think the same thoughts won’t be running rampant in the NFL, you’re in for disappointment.

    The only people you’ve heard make comment on this in the league are doing so for PR purposes only.

    There’s a common thread that permeates NFL locker rooms today that involves gay jokes and the “F” word. That’s not going away anytime soon because of this.

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