CFLPA wants commitment from Canadian Football League to play in 2021
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The CFL season was cancelled in August when the federal government refused to bail out team owners with an injection of cash. Around the league, it’s clear that players have made note of how every other major professional sports league on the continent has managed to find some way to get its product on the field or ice. That includes the Canadian Premier League, the pro soccer league that’s in its second year.
Of course, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is going to make it a challenge, and the CFL faces its own set of unique circumstances that make it difficult. The league tried to go with a hub city model for 2020, and it’s unclear whether its teams can afford to play out a season that would involve regular travel if there aren’t fans in the stands to help cover the costs.
The CFLPA is well aware of all those challenges, and they aren’t even necessarily demanding a solution quite yet. The players union just wants some sort of promise that if it’s possible, there’s going to be a season next year.
For many of the CFL’s players, there are other career opportunities they need to be weighing. Turning down a long-term job right now might make sense if you know you’ll get to continue playing pro football in June, but any uncertainty only makes that a harder decision.
“I think the commitment we’re looking for is to ensure we don’t go down the same path (as this year),” said CFLPA executive director Brian Ramsay. “As Solomon stated, we were able to successfully negotiate accommodations for the collective agreement for a hub city in 2020, and yet, we still didn’t play.