The Bartender weighs in on the CFL suspension for Khalif Mitchell

Fair call?

Football is not a game. Scrabble is a game. Football is a lifestyle.

And those who intend to partake in this lifestyle on a professional level must continue to push the envelope on fair play in an attempt to intimidate and gain leverage on opponents.

That being said, the BC Lions Defensive Tackle Khalif Mitchell’s 2 game suspension, handed down by league commissioner, Mark Cohon, is a fair and just punishment.

On the play, Mitchell wrenched Edmonton Eskimo’s Offensive Lineman Simeon Rottier’s arm, and hyper-extending Rottier’s elbow.

Now I understand that underhanded grapples and punches are often thrown amidst the piles of players and a lot of illegal use of hands goes on within the confines of the trenches of the line of scrimmage, but Mitchell’s unwarranted assault crossed the line.

I am not about to tell anyone what’s right and what’s wrong and what it takes to play professional football, but I feel as though the punishment fits the crime and the league is doing what it feels is right to protect all their assets.

But let’s let the league make the call

Now, in world of social media and instant information, Mitchell was berated by fans and opponents following the incident.

Mitchell defended himself by insisting that his act was a “football play”.

No, no it wasn’t. It was a UFC play intended for a steel cage, not a gridiron.

Maybe a little soul searching is in order for the Lions Khalif Mitchell. (photo Yahoo! Sports)

It is a proud man that defends his actions in the face of adversity, and sure enough, Mitchell wasn’t flagged on the play, but I think the big man should have saved a little face by apologizing to Rottier, his team-mates, management and fans and swallowed his suspension.

True to form though, Khalif and the Lions will appeal the suspension, allowing Mitchell to play in the next two games, delaying the inevitable, and possibly shortening his sentence, but the dark cloud will continue to loom over-head and the tag of “dirty-player” will be attached for a short while.

When, or if, Khalif serves his punishment he will return with a passion and fire we as fans have come to enjoy, focused and more determined to attack quarterbacks.

In the meantime we will get to know Jabar Westerman just a little bit more and appreciate what Khalif brings to the table when he is in the line-up.

For what’s it worth, I don’t think anyone, even Mark Cohon can change the way Mitchell plays. He’s just too intense.

Cheers, The Bartender


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About Phil Slater

"The Bartender" - Raised on Vancouver Island where Phil played Football and Rugby in High School. Played O-Line for Bishop's University. A loyal member of the BC Lions nation since age 9. BC bred but travelled sea to sea in Canada trying to get a pulse on fan nation above the 49th. Unofficial voice of bartenders everywhere. Connect with Phil today!
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