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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

RIDERS DEFEND KHALIF MITCHELL SIGNING


REGINA - The Saskatchewan Roughriders have signed controversial defensive lineman Khalif Mitchell to their practice roster, drawing criticism from Canadian Jewish organizations.

Mitchell hasn't played since being released by the Montreal Alouettes in June 2015, a month after he was fined for violating the CFL's social media policy with anti-Semitic posts on Twitter, which included a link to a Holocaust denial video.

At the time, he apologized in a joint statement by the CFL Players' Association and B'nai Brith Canada, saying it was "a learning moment for me.''

"I wholeheartedly apologize to all those who I know I let down by posting those videos, especially those who look up to me as a professional athlete,'' Mitchell said in May 2015. "I fell into a trap by watching that video and I hope others can learn from my very public mistake.''

Mitchell agreed to work with B'nai Brith, a Jewish human rights organization, to "educate myself about this and other human rights matters.''

Shimon Koffler Fogel, CEO of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, said Wednesday there is no evidence Mitchell has learned from his mistakes.

"We are deeply troubled that Mitchell is continuing to spread messages of hate against the Jewish people,'' he said in a statement. "The Montreal Alouettes and the Canadian Football League did the right thing in 2015 by denouncing Mitchell's hateful tweets and levying a fine against him for his troubling behaviour.

"Clearly, Mitchell has not learned from his past mistakes. We have engaged with the CFL and the Saskatchewan Roughriders and they have assured us they are investigating.''

The CIJA included screenshots of several recent retweets from Mitchell that it deemed troubling.

The CEO of B'nai Brith, Michael Mostyn, told Yahoo Sports on Wednesday that he expected the Roughriders to ensure that Mitchell will not use the CFL platform to promote offensive messages.

Roughriders coach Chris Jones said he doesn't go online and hadn't seen Mitchell's recent Twitter activity.

"We've spoken on it,'' said Jones. "He's a couple years older. I'm hoping Khalif knows where he's at in his life.''

Mitchell says he is aware of the reputation he brings to Saskatchewan, but he's comfortable in his own skin.

"I've been around pretty much all the good and the bad at the maximum extremes,'' he said. "What's going on here is that I got the opportunity to go ahead and show everybody who I am. If you don't know me, all you've got to do is go and look me up and then all of a sudden you'll find out who I am.

"But I'm just myself. I'm comfortable being myself. I'm an outspoken guy, but every team I've always been around, I've loved my teammates to death.''

Mitchell was also in hot water with the league in 2012, when the CFL fined him for using derogatory terms against people of Chinese descent on Twitter.

The six-foot-six lineman signed with Montreal in February 2015. He was a CFL all-star in 2011.

Jones said the team needs to evaluate Mitchell's fitness before deciding how he would fit into their plans.

"I've got to go through everything and once everything comes up to the game day, coach Jones will make the proper assessments,'' Mitchell said.

"I trust whatever assessment he comes up with and then I'm just going to give him the best Khalif that he knows.''

(Canadian Press with files from the Regina Leader-Post)

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

Keep'em coming Jonesie !!!!

Anonymous said...

Riders would do well to keep this player off social media and keep him focused on football. He is now 31 years old so lets hope he is more mature and ready to compete.

Anonymous said...

What about all of Jonsey's recruits?? Isn't there anyone available on the practice roster?

tskware said...

Troubled but good player when he was in his prime. He cant make them worse can he? Shows how deep they've gone in thier scouting list to find DLs

Anonymous said...

I can see that this is starting to look like a cut throat football team with the signing of Khalif Mitchell. Another castoff. Go figure!

Ray

Anonymous said...

This is the guy who posts anti-semitic stuff on his twitter account.
Go check it out and tell me if you want him representing your beloved Riders.

Anonymous said...

Wow, the riders actually signed this head case...why would you bring in such an ignorant disrepectful player as this. Respect for this team is going to keep swirling downwards with signings like this.

J FRENCH said...

Sorry Chris Jones, You've lost me. This move I can't let slide. #notMyRiders

Anonymous said...

A lot of baggage with this guy, hopefully he is not a problem

Dex said...

This is an embarrassment. Do they not know how to use google to do a little research? Or does Jones not care? There is a reason he has been out of football.

First it was Greg Hardy and now this guy. Bring in Ray Rice next?

Not a good look for the Riders at all.

Anonymous said...

At least the Riders are guaranteed to now be fined again. with this guy in the lineup. Talk about throwing fuel on a fire.

Anonymous said...

For the clowns who know zip about professional football, this is a very good player aquisition for the interm. Good on the Riders.

Mr. Fout Bollur

Anonymous said...

Clowns that know zip about football...you should look in the mirror bud, this guy has always been a problem player with bad actions to back that up...this is what you want your rookies to learn off of? If so then I am happy for you because the riders will stay in the basement with this attitude.

Rick said...

Don't care if they are Mother Theresa or Lex Luther types just want players who can win some games!

Glenn said...

.......scraping the bottom of the barrel now.......no other team in the CFL wants him. Isn't he the guy that held down one of our offensive lineman by the throat a few years back? And took out Rottier with Edmonton with a very dirty arm twist? Where is all the talent that Jones, Murphy and let's not forget O'Day were supposed to tap into and bring in?? I'd rather go with young potential than old has been........

Anonymous said...

Dwight Anderson.. Taj Smith.. Tearrius George..

Khalif Mitchell...

So I guess it's time to start the watch for the next great player signing by the Riders.

My money is on Greg Hardy... though Ray McDonald might be a better fit.

..disgraceful.

Anonymous said...

Scraping the bottom of the barrel now! Great!!!!

Anonymous said...

Anybody who thinks this is a good signing either has their head in the sand or has questionable racist beliefs themselves. If I were Reynolds I would now have Jones on a very short leash. He has done nothing good for the Riders brand. This is getting national attention, and not in a good way.

3RD and 1 said...

Up until now I havent said anything about any players Jones and Company have brought in or cut lose.
What gets me on this one is remembering Chris Jones saying he would bring in players that were good people and good football players. There is no doubting that Khalif was a good DT when he played. However I challenge Chris Jones on the 1st part

Anonymous said...

At last, a new Old'96 er who can be a beast in the middle!

Anonymous said...

"In Jones We Trust"

Anonymous said...

Khalif is a very dirty player, i wouldnt want young kids watching him play, thinking thats how you have to behave and play to play in CFL,
Sorry, why did we give up Chick again?

Anonymous said...

Solid signing. Need some attitude. He has it in spades.
To much political correctness in this world.

I have a feeling Kalif will " make Saskatchewan great again"!!!

Gord said...

So let me get this straight. All we heard this off season was how we had all these scouts leaving no stone unturned and how great both Murphy and Jones are at finding and evaluating talent. Then Jones tells the media how they only want good character people to play for this football team and they sign khalif Mitchell.??! This season has been a complete gong show and as a fan I am very concerned about the direction Jones is taking this team. Why on earth would they sign a POS like this? Why?? For the first time ever I'm ashamed and embarrassed to cheer for this team. can someone explain this to me?? Has Jones lost his mind? This is the best they can come up with? Yikes man. Wow! I am freaking pissed off!

Anonymous said...

Kalif will "make Saskatchewan great again". OMG - are you kidding? He will make no one and nothing great now or in the future. I cannot believe he is going to have a Rider uniform on. Sad day in Riderville!

Anonymous said...

A lot of 'holier than thou' in the comments today.

The man made a mistake. It's in the past. If he can still play football at the level the riders need him to play at, then his past is moot. Not like he killed anyone.

Anonymous said...

We released good players with good character. We have released players that seem to be playing well on other teams with a wining record. We are sitting at 1-8. We have been fined and called out by the league as damaging the name of the CFL. Then we hire a social media racist. Who made comments on Twitter just a few Months ago that are shameful.
You have an African American standing up against oppression in the NFL. In the CFL the Saskatchewan Roughriders now employ an African American who speaks out against other races.
How much more embarrassment can the Green and White take in a single year.
Put this guy on the next Aircraft heading in the direction where he lives.

truenorthern said...

This guy re-posts crazy paranoid conspiracy stuff on social media, like a lot of people I know. He has not been charged or convicted of any crime,...
If re-posting crazy conspiracy stuff or Trump memes was illegal or worthy of firing, half the fan base would have to fired from their jobs,..

Anonymous said...

"The man made a mistake. It's in the past."

If you read the article and did a little research (even on Mitchell's own Twitter feed), you'd see that it's pretty clear he made many, many mistakes, and he didn't learn from a single one.

This isn't in the past. This is a going concern.

Anonymous said...

"If re-posting crazy conspiracy stuff or Trump memes was illegal or worthy of firing, half the fan base would have to fired from their jobs,.."

He's not a fan. He's a player. Most teams expect more out of their players than their fans. Not the Riders, apparently.

Anonymous said...

Kalif Mitchell WOW! ,face palm.

I have been behind Chris Jones 100%,this move makes no sense and the heat the green and white will take from the political correct faction will be brutal.

Are the scouts we hired really that bad? Now the media microphones and cameras get stuck in DD's and other players faces,what can they really say? except that they are 100% behind the decision and he will make the team better.

With all the weekly roster moves,players looking over there shoulder,the injuries,the fines now this! Andrew Harris said it best when Kalif Mitchell was sent packing... "GOOD RIDDANCE"

this is going to get ugly fast,I don't care how good Kalif Mitchell was or will be.

tskware said...

Those players all signed under different administration. Nothing to do with CJ Oday or Reynolds.

tskware said...

Good point.

tskware said...

No those are 2 seperate incidents and he was only involved on the Rottier incident. Which was bad enough all in itself.

tskware said...

I think he was just being sarcastic or trying to get you worked up and he did both.

tskware said...

I dont have a problem with bringing in the best football players you can find and managing personalities if the coaches feel they can do it. What gets me about this one is he was on 2 football teams after his heyday in BC and they didnt keep him either because he wasn't that good anymore or he wasn't worth the trouble. I expected a lot more from the all-star recruiting tandom of CJ and Murphy. We are now at the point we are bringing back players that havent been in the league for 2 years (check Morely).

If they are trying to build experience on the team to push for the playoffs they should shelve that idea. The playoffs are out of reach. They should be building for next year (Again).

tskware said...

Agree with you. Controversy aside this makes no sense. He hasn't played football in 2 years, but he was working at an organic garden so he has stayed in shape? Really? Its not to make a push for the playoffs as those are out of reach this year. Its not for his leadership on a young team as he needs a babysitter more than anyone. I'm at a loss to figure this one out.

Anonymous said...

We are not that desperate for a win that we need to bring someone with this type of background onto our team. I personally feel the quicker he is gone the better. People change but it sounds like he has not. Where is our high standard we set a few years ago? I've been supporting the team through their struggles but this is very disappointing.