Some Rider fans are calling it a “desperate move” to sign Khalif Mitchell to the defensive line.
Mitchell has been in trouble with the CFL for anti-Semitic and racist posts on social media and for dirty hits on the field. He also hasn’t played in the CFL since being released by Montreal in June 2015. He was released and fined after violating the CFL’s social media policy by posting a tweet with a link to a Holocaust denial video.
@sskroughriders what a classless act Riders, an utterly classless act signing a hateful bigot like him. Utterly disgusted with Riders.
— Robert Cooper (@RobACooper) August 31, 2016
@sskroughriders Really? I’d rather lose with honour and pride than have this jackwad on our sideline. Highly ??? move IMO.
— Rob Nelson (@CanadaRob) August 31, 2016
— Rachel Miller (@RachelMiller84) September 1, 2016
@sskroughriders the on and off field standards need to be higher and upheld. There should be no room for Khalif Mitchell on this team.
— John Scrivens (@JohnScrivens) September 1, 2016
@jamienye All Jones talks about is how he wants to fill the room with character guys. His actions don’t seem to align with his comments
— Jeff Burns (@burnunit23) August 31, 2016
— Doug Medernach (@DougMedernach) August 31, 2016
@sskroughriders you’re going to let this guy play in front of veterans?
— j taylor (@jtothet1384) August 31, 2016
@jamienye I get the interior dl is struggling but can we not find any new recruits instead? Mitchell is not a long-term fix so why bother?
— Rider Prophet (@RiderProphet) August 31, 2016
@jamienye My thoughts are why not? Our pass rush is awful
— Greg Mortson (@G_Mortson) August 31, 2016
@sskroughriders I hope you know what you’re doing. Potential to be a cancer in the locker room. Hopefully he’s cleaned up his act.
— Chad Hall (@Hallzey77) August 31, 2016
@jamienye love it! Mitchell is a beast!
— Guy D (@Guyzer) August 31, 2016
— Brad Murphy (@bransensdad) August 31, 2016
@jamienye disgusting. Ugh ugh ugh. How to generate even more dislike for our team
— Jane Pittet (@pittet_jane) August 31, 2016
@jamienye Desperation move -sure hope that he’s matured & learned to treat all w/respect! Where are all the players Murphy s/b able to find?
— Marlene (@grnrider) August 31, 2016
In response to the addition to the roster, the CFL issued a statement warning that the league will be monitoring Mitchell closely and if he continues this behaviour he will be dismissed again.
“There is absolutely no place in our league for commentary used to divide or disparage people on the basis of their religion, race, gender or sexual orientation. Such commentary not only may bring the CFL into disrepute; it can promote hate today and dishonour all those who have been subjected to hate over the course of history,” CFL Commissioner Jeffrey Orridge wrote in a statement.
The statement also pointed out that the league set up a meeting between Mitchell and a representative with the Jewish organization B’Nai Brith Canada to educate him on human rights issues after the first incident.
“Since Mitchell has now returned to our league, with another club, his new employer has reached out to the league office to assure us they too take this matter very seriously and any such inappropriate behaviour from Mitchell will result in his immediate dismissal. We too will monitor any commentary he may make as a member of our League. We fully acknowledge that our employees, including our players, have a right to hold and express opinions. But in absolutely no circumstance do we condone activity or comments that are derogatory or inappropriate. Such comments, which put the League’s reputation as a progressive and positive member of the community in question, will not be tolerated.”