November 13, 2006

Bruce (Ar)goes off the deep end: After his Toronto Argonauts lost in the CFL's Eastern Conference final, wide receiver Arland Bruce III said the referees were racists and took bribes. How severe should a league's reaction be to such statements?

posted by wfrazerjr to football at 02:44 PM - 15 comments

Everybody's heard the old adage "Home Town Refs" but he went overboard his season is over damn just fine him something that is going to hurt him in the pocketbook

posted by luther70 at 03:07 PM on November 13, 2006

A stiff,heavy fine is good enough. I don't know what his salary is but I don't think they make as much as in the NFL. But I don't follow the CFL. Not enough to know what most players make up there anyway.

posted by Ghastly1 at 03:33 PM on November 13, 2006

I can understand that Bruce would be plenty frustrated after losing, but to make comments like that is just stupid. He was unable to cite hard evidence to support his claims, and now he just looks like an asshole. I don't think the league should go overboard on a penalty since I believe it was emotions that lead to the statement. However, he still should recieve a stiff fine.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 03:41 PM on November 13, 2006

In the words of the immortal Warren Sapp, "The dude's a sissy!"

posted by yay-yo at 03:55 PM on November 13, 2006

Honestly, I don't know if a fine is enough. This guy just challenged the legitimacy of the entire league. What do you think would happen if Donovan McNabb, Steve McNair, Barry Bonds, Paul Pierce, hell, any black player on any professional sports league in America said those things? There'd be hell to pay, and not just a fine. A suspension would seem likely, and in this case, probably well deserved, but I'm not familiar enough with the history of the CFL to know what their standard punishment structure is like in cases like this...or if they've even had a case like this before.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 04:34 PM on November 13, 2006

What a f'n moron.

posted by gp_rider at 04:45 PM on November 13, 2006

Yeah gp_rider, but those loose cannons provide quite a bit of fodder for this site... Just gotta laugh sometimes.

posted by mjkredliner at 05:23 PM on November 13, 2006

He should get a very heavy fine and be told that without any evidence of racism he needs to shut the f up. Otherwise he can leave the league and try to play in the NFL or Europe.

posted by sickleguy at 05:49 PM on November 13, 2006

I agree that the legitimacy of the entire league is threatened by one player poppin' off and saying the refs are racists. Ban him a few games, strip him of pay, and remind him who works for who.

posted by igottheblues at 05:51 PM on November 13, 2006

If he said those things and won the game that'd be one thing. But he lost and was visibly frustrated during the loss (getting in Damon Allen's face at one point) One call that turned the tide (or stifled the comeback) was the Ricky Williams fumble that was called on instant replay. I can see the Argos being upset about that one, I mean the fumble wasn't called but was conclusive on replay but the play was whistled dead while the ball was loose (though the Alouettes player did quickly pick it up and no Argos player would have had a chance). So it was sort of a broken and botched play. Dunno the rules but I guess the Argos would have been entitled to feel that the evidence and the way the play went down wasn't enough to result in a change of posession. Also, how can you not like Pinball? He's suggesting the refs didn't like Pinball? Are the refs human? Are they Canadian? Do they follow Canadian football? If you answered yes to all of those things then you gotta like Pinball. I beat Pinball doesn't even swear.

posted by gspm at 05:56 PM on November 13, 2006

First of all, most CFL players make between $100,000 and $200,000 and that is in Canadian dollars so they make far less then the NFL minimum wage. I don't think Bruce's comments hurt the league as I am not sure of the ratio but each CFL team has the same percentage of black to white and Canadian to American players. gspm is right, Pinball Clemons is one of the most well likes and respected coaches in league history. That being said, I would suspend and fine Arlen Bruce.

posted by jc at 06:54 PM on November 13, 2006

At this time of the season last year, Nik Lewis (Calgary Stampeders) also made an accusation that a referee was racist, claiming he dismissed the contestation of a call by saying that he "didn't understand ebonics" (I'd post a link, but I'm sure it has been retired). The league dismissed this charge because no one other than Lewis would verify. I think it should also be noted that two Montreal Alouettes are currently contemplating filing a racism complaint against the Montreal Police for racial profiling. However, all that said ... the racist card is a pretty heavy stick to swing without anything other than "they don't like Pinball" as a justification. Bruce needs to "say more", or this will get written off completely (and likely warrant some punishment/fine/suspension). What I don't want to see happen is that the racist element that undeniably does exist in Canada (and Canadian sport) is erased because of this inappropriate accusation. Whether it is as banal as the exoticization of blacks in the Canadian sport context (embraced as "our guys" when performing well on the field/ice, or working hard to fit in to largely white communities), or to the more overt and explicit forms of racism (as outlined by the likes of Anthony Prior in Slave Side of Sunday), one misplaced/mistimed accusation shouldn't overwrite the veritably problematic aspects of the CFL.

posted by Spitztengle at 08:07 PM on November 13, 2006

As an update, Bruce has been fined by the Argos and has backtracked a bit on his original statements.

posted by Spitztengle at 08:17 PM on November 13, 2006

This is a bit of bad loser-ship. Bruce is the CFL version of a Randy Moss (not quite a Terrell Owens). He's good, but he has had problems coming across as a bit of a malcontent at times and certainly a "talk-first, think later" guy. That fumble call was ridiculous, though. Just a bad, bad choice by the officials to give the ball to Montreal.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 10:13 AM on November 14, 2006

he has had problems coming across as a bit of a malcontent at times and certainly a "talk-first, think later" guy. Thank God we don't have anybody like that around here; it could get a bit crazy.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 03:48 PM on November 14, 2006

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