Calgary Sun – CFL players stand with union over grievance

Daniel Austin – Calgary Sun

Read the full article at CalgarySun.com

WINNIPEG — S.J. Green was there on the night when Jonathan Hefney’s football career came to an end.

The now-Toronto Argonauts receiver watched Hefney, then Green’s teammate with the Montreal Alouettes, got stretchered off the field after a 2015 collision with Ottawa RedBlacks fullback Patrick Lavoie. In the years since, Green has followed along as Hefney has struggled to pay for the treatment he’s needed as the result of the injury.

So when the Canadian Football League Players Association filed a grievance this week against the CFL and its nine member clubs for failing to protect players from injuries, failing to warn players of the risks and dangers of injuries and failing to compensate players who sustain injuries, Green was fully on-board.

“I was at the game where (Hefney) got hurt and ultimately lost his right to be ‘normal’, “ Green said Thursday from CFL Week in Winnipeg. “The insurance goes for a year after the date of injury, and then his insurance got cut off completely.

“He was attending treatments on a daily basis and he’s still not 100%. His treatment gets cuts off when he’s 50% or 55% healed. Now, what is he supposed to do? He can’t got to work because his arm doesn’t work. It’s a tough situation. I feel bad for him because he laid his life on the line for this league, for his family and for this game, and now he’s in a situation where he’s fighting to provide.”

The CFLPA filed its grievance on Tuesday, about a week after the Supreme Court of Canada had ruled that it wouldn’t hear a case from former CFLer Arland Bruce. Bruce had been trying to sue the league over concussion trauma, but the court said players needed use arbitration to resolve issues that were part of the collective bargaining agreement.

To a man, the players who came through the CFL’s media availability sessions in downtown Winnipeg on Thursday spoke in favour of their union’s decision, and Hefney’s devastating injury – he was reported to have suffered three fractured vertebrae and nerve damage — was at the front of many of their minds.

Read the full article at CalgarySun.com

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