CFLers should be kept out of octagon - Metro US

CFLers should be kept out of octagon

“Ultimate fighting, or whatever it’s called, ought to be banned.”

No CFL player, as far as we know, is involved in dogfighting, and thank the heavens for small miracles. There is, however, a CFLer who engages in another form of vicious fighting.

Adam Braidwood, a promising defensive end with the Edmonton Eskimos, augments his income by trying to beat up fellow human beings — or risk being ripped apart by them.

It may not be dogfighting — that incredibly sick, inhumane nonsense that allegedly went on at the home of Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick — but it’s still fighting and also is disgustingly barbaric, in my view.

Braidwood moonlights in ultimate fighting, or whatever the heck it’s called. This week, he signed a contract that guarantees him rough stuff as a heavyweight in the Maximum Fighting championship in Alberta.

Braidwood’s teammate, fullback Mike Maurer, tried to pad his pocketbook in this fighting lunacy last winter. In his only bout, Maurer was knocked out. Cold. It was ugly. Braidwood, though, remains undaunted and eager to resume his side career.

Now, I’m going to say something here that may come across to you as wimpy in this violence-hungry society of ours — and I’ll brace myself for a flood of e-mails because I know how popular this has become to those who get vicarious pleasures out of seeing others hurt — but ultimate fighting, or whatever it’s called, ought to be banned. It should be illegal because odds seem strong to me that, sooner or later, a participant will be killed.

At the very least, CFL commissioner Mark Cohon should step in and try to prohibit CFLers from engaging in this stupidity. Players are under contracts to their football clubs. It’s absurd they should be free to engage in any activity that could potentially endanger their football careers.

Look, there’s still no drug policy in the CFL. Still no all-star game. Still no expansion to Ottawa or anywhere else.

Banning CFLers from fighting will give Cohon something concrete to do. And he shouldn’t procrastinate on this one.

• Quarterback Dave Dickenson of the B.C. Lions is getting medical advice to retire because of his concussion problems, sources tell me … Ontarian Mike Vanderjagt has rejected CFL offers and is confident he’ll return to the NFL soon … You knew this was coming: QB JaMarcus Russell, first overall pick in the most recent NFL draft, wants a rookie record $30 million US in guarantees to sign with the Oakland Raiders.

• And check out www.metronews.cafor my latestCFL Report, which includes notes and picks.


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