Realty One

Tuesday, January 31, 2017


Jeffrey L. Orridge, the first black Commissioner of the Canadian Football League, has been chosen to receive the African Canadian Achievement Award for Excellence in Sports for his “trailblazing accomplishments”.

Organizers announced that Orridge will be one of 15 high profile black Canadians who will be celebrated as “contemporary Black history makers” at the African Canadian Achievement Awards (ACAA) annual gala on February 25 at the Jane Mallett Theatre inside the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts.

"This is especially important for our community, in this, the year of the 150th birthday of Canada, because Mr. Orridge's many noteworthy accomplishments, in a little over a year since he assumed his current position, and in his previous executive roles, exemplifies the significant contributions made by African Canadians to the development of our nation,” said Michael L. Van Cooten, Founder, Chair and CEO of the ACAA.

"Our community is looking forward to honouring this distinguished gentleman, who is the first person of African ancestry to achieve the significant position of CFL Commissioner."

Past recipients of the ACAA for Excellence in Sports include Raymond Gray Lewis, the first Canadian born black Olympic medalist, former Blue Jays Manager Cito Gaston and baseball Hall of Famer Ferguson Jenkins. Past recipients from the CFL include Grey Cup champions Michael “Pinball” Clemons, Bruce Smith and Chuck Ealey.

Past recipients of African Canadian Achievement Awards from other walks of life include Canadian jazz icon Oscar Peterson, Canada’s first black cabinet minister, the Honourable Lincoln Alexander, and opera singer and concert artist Measha Brueggergosman.

The African Canadian Achievement Awards were founded in 1985 by Van Cooten, the Publisher and Editor of Pride News Magazine, which still organizes and hosts the awards under the stewardship of Joan Pierre, their Producer.

The 13th Commissioner of the CFL, Orridge has a lifelong passion for sport and more than 20 years of experience is building major brands and businesses.

Working with the CFL’s Board of Governors and its nine teams, he is repositioning the CFL for the future.

Less than two years into his term, Orridge has led the league as it has innovated in the game of football, expanding the use of video review, modernized its regulations, including the introduction of an enhanced drug testing program, and embraced new technology, by ushering in dynamic and mobile digital platforms.

Orridge has extended the league’s landmark broadcast agreement with TSN and RDS, and added adidas as the official outfitter of the CFL and Shaw as the first presenting partner of the Grey Cup.

He has placed an emphasis on ensuring the league is progressive and inclusive, announcing the CFL’s first policy on violence against women including mandatory training, and engaging the LGBTQ community through a number of initiatives, including participation in the Toronto Pride Parade and awareness training delivered at the team and league level as part of a partnership with You Can Play.



Anonymous said...

Orridge to be honored... Why?

Anonymous said...

Forgot to mention slowing down the game because of lengthy video replays, increasing the number of flags due to strict enforcement of those "modernized" rules which the fans hate and driving fans out of the parks. Congrats however on enhanced drug testing. That at least is a step forward.

Anonymous said...

Instant replay challenges need to stay in the Cfl due to our officials making so many wrong calls and missing so many calls. The thing that needs to be added is that a failed challenge is a 5 or 10 yard delay of game penalty with the already loss of timeout, this should slow coaches from throwing the challenge flag so often just because they can.

Anonymous said...

What note worthy accomplishments? Denying cte and concussion link, slowing down the game, making it almost unwatchable with rule changes and video reviews or wait was it changing the CFL logo and never being a public figure with the league or ETC ETC ETC.

Good God, What a joke................AND he's not even Canadian!!!