CFL contract dispute includes limit to full-contact practices

CFL training camps open in two days, but the players and owners still don't have a deal. One of the big issues is the call from athletes for more safety regulations.

Players' association calls for independent neurologist be present on sidelines of games

Calgary Stampeders' Quincy Butler tackles B.C. Lions' Geroy Simon during the first half of the CFL Western Final football game in Vancouver in 2012. The players' association wants full-contact practices limited to one a week. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press)

CFL training camps open in two days, but the players and owners still don't have a deal — and one of the biggest issues remains unresolved.

The old collective bargaining agreement expired overnight. While money is the key issue in the dispute, players are also calling for more safety regulations. 

The players' association says an independent neurologist should be on the sidelines for each game.

Calgary Stampeders' player representative​ Keon Raymond says the players want an independent neurologist to be on the sidelines of each CFL game in the new collective agreement. (CBC)

"You definitely want someone who's skilled in this area to make sure they're looking out for your investment," said Calgary Stampeders' player representative​ Keon Raymond. "You don't want to go through something that could potentially damage you for the rest of your life."

The players' association also wants to limit the number of practices where players wear full equipment in order to cut down on injuries throughout the season.

It wants to limit those practices to once a week, while the league is offering a maximum of 28 over the course of the 18-week season.

Raymond says that is not good enough and the league needs to stop being stubborn.

In the meantime, the players' association has sent strike ballots to its members, who are in a position to strike before the start of the regular season.

So far, no new talks have been scheduled between the two sides.


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