Several Roughriders not happy with CFL labour deal

While Saskatchewan Roughriders fans are exciting to see their team on the field on Saturday, the players have mixed emotions about the league's labour deal.

Quarterback Darian Durant says CFLPA didn't do a good enough job representing players

Saskatchewan Roughriders quarterback Darian Durant says the CFLPA didn't do a good enough job representing players. (Peter Mills/CBC)

While Saskatchewan Roughriders fans are excited to see their team on the field on Saturday, the players have mixed emotions about the league's labour deal.

When asked if he's glad the deal got signed, Roughriders quarterback Durant didn't hide his feelings.

"I don't want to say, 'Glad.'" Durant said. "It is what it is. We just have to accept it, but I definitely think there should be some change within our committee."

They're supposed to fight on our behalf- Darian Durant

The CFL Players' Association (CFLPA) accepted a new agreement on Thursday. However, many players have taken to social media to express their dissatisfaction with the deal.

"The numbers speak for themselves," Durant said. "If you look at the deal and what we accepted without putting forth any fight, it's just not what we pay our union guys for. They're supposed to fight on our behalf and for them to give in like they did, I think they all should be out of there."

Neil Kalra, who was wearing a No. 4 Darian Durant jersey at Riders training camp on Friday, said he's just happy there will be football.

"I think it's super exciting," Kalra said. "The fact that we're going to have football this year is exciting for all the fans, all the players, for the CFL."

That being said, Kalra understands why some of the players are not happy.

"I feel for the players," he said. "Sometimes it's tough. You don't always get everything in negotiations, but I think that hopefully they feel that it's a fair deal and it will be exciting to have some football starting."

Roughrider fan Ben Ravichander also has mixed emotions about the deal.
"I think in sports it's always going to be set up so the owners and the higher ups get more money," Ravichander said. "But I think it's good that the players reached a deal. And I think they can build off of that."

Riders returning to Mosaic Stadium

The Roughriders wrapped up week two of training camp in Saskatoon on Friday. The team will now head back to Regina for their first pre-season game on Saturday.

"I think it was a great camp," Durant said. "It is always a great atmosphere down here (in Saskatoon). It gives the guys a chance to get away from home, build a little extra team camaraderie, and that's what we need."

Durant said it has been a long six months since winning the Grey Cup and he's looking forward to getting this season started.

"I think it's beginning," he said. "You'll never be able to simulate in practice what it's like to be in a game. We'll get a true test tomorrow and we'll know were we are and what we need to work on."

While he's focused on helping some of his new teammates adjust to the CFL, Durant is particularly excited about returning to the field where he won his first Grey Cup as a starting quarterback.

"I think I'll have a little bit of butterflies," Durant said. "Last time we were on that field, we came away as champions. I think  it will be a tremendous atmosphere. Hopefully the rain can hold off. It will be good for Ottawa also to see what they have, to get their team back in the running."