Saskatchewan

Sask. Roughriders fans express concern over players strike

The Saskatchewan Roughriders are in a contract dispute with the Canadian Football League and have not come to an agreement yet. The team is scheduled to play against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the pre-season opener soon.

No further talks regarding the contract dispute are scheduled

The CFL players association told seven teams, including the Saskatchewan Roughriders, not to report to training camp. (The Canadian Press)

Football season is around the corner, and some Saskatchewan Roughriders fans are wondering what's next.

On Sunday, seven teams in the Canadian Football League, including the Roughriders, did not take to the field at Griffiths Stadium for the start of training camp. 

This comes after a contract dispute between the CFL and the players association where they could not settle on a collective agreement. 

Some fans of Rider nation are not happy with the situation and hope a deal can be made so they can watch football this season.

Guest host Peter Mills speaks with offensive lineman Evan Johnson about his time in Saskatoon with the U of S Huskies, and how it feels to be back at Griffiths Stadium.

"We've got bigger problems if the league loses another season," said Paul Harasen, a long-time season ticket holder of the Saskatchewan Roughriders. 

Shannon Rains, a volunteer during the games at Mosaic Stadium, said they just had a meeting and she is "not too happy" about the strike. 

Shannon Rains, left, is a volunteer during Saskatchewan Roughriders games at Mosaic Stadium and Paul Harasen, right, is a long-time season ticket holder. (Richard Agecoutay/CBC)

Brett Lauther, the teams CFLPA union representative and kicker for the Roughriders, said the team is trying to stay prepared for when negotiations end and a deal is worked out. 

"We have a really veteran group and we're definitely sticking together through this," Lauther said.

The players have been staying at the University of Saskatchewan dorms during this time while doing some training of their own. 

Brett Lauther, kicker for the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the CFLPA union representative, says the players have been doing their own training. (Trevor Bothorel/CBC )

The two main points Lauther mentions in the dispute are the Canadian/American ratio and revenue sharing. 

Lauther said a deal would have to be reached by Wednesday in order to play the Winnipeg Bombers in the pre-season opener game scheduled for May 23. 

A spokesperson for the league said in a statement that the CFL made a "full and comprehensive offer to the union" but it was rejected and there are no further talks scheduled.

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