Newspaper article The Canadian Press

CFL Denounces Weekend Violence in Virginia with Launch of T-Shirts

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

CFL Denounces Weekend Violence in Virginia with Launch of T-Shirts

Article excerpt

CFL denounces Virginia violence with T-shirts

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TORONTO - Commissioner Randy Ambrosie said this weekend's violent protests in Charlottesville, Va., prompted the CFL to unveil a new line of T-shirts Sunday in Regina rather than later this fall.

The T-shirts feature the words "Diversity is Strength" on the front and "A league of what we're made of," on the back with surnames of many current and former CFL players and personnel. They were worn by B.C. and Saskatchewan players and coaches prior to the Roughriders' 41-8 win at Mosaic Stadium, including Lions head coach/GM Wally Buono, whose name appears on the back.

The T-shirts were originally scheduled for launch this fall as part of Canada 150 celebrations. But Ambrosie said the decision was made Saturday to unveil them in Regina after one woman was killed and nearly 20 others injured in Charlottesville when a car plowed through a group protesting a white supremacist rally.

"It's not a political message," said Ambrosie, a former CFL player who was appointed commissioner last month. "It was just an acknowledgment that at a time when the world is being pulled apart we can do something to bring it back together and remind people how important coming together is and how diversity can play a big role in being bigger, stronger, faster, better.

"I just felt in a moment when there might be a focus on negativity that there was time to refocus on the positive aspects of diversity. All you have to do is look at the names on those T-shirts and recognize these were players from every race, colour and creed who came to the league and were given an opportunity and became stars and Canadian icons. It's not at all political, it's just who we are and really worthy of celebration."

Ambrosie said other CFL teams will don the T-shirts this week.

"We've already had those requests coming in . . . the teams are all getting excited about it," he said. "I'm happy to say it looks as though this is being embraced by our teams, by the Canadian public. …

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