CFLPA investigating league's sanctions against players under 'serious allegations'

The CFL Players' Association says it is investigating league sanctions against players who have recently been the subject of "serious allegations."

Released players Sherman, Messam barred from signing with another team

Jerome Messam was charged with two counts of voyeurism. (The Canadian Press)

The CFL Players' Association says it is investigating league sanctions against players who have recently been the subject of "serious allegations."

A statement issued by the CFLPA on Wednesday said its role as the players' union is to "protect the due process rights of all CFLPA members.

"In that capacity, we are investigating CFL actions against players who have been identified in these cases."

The statement did not specify which cases the CFLPA was investigating, but the league has recently said it will not register a contract for released players Teague Sherman and Jerome Messam after they were charged with criminal offences.

Ottawa police charged Sherman, a former Redblacks defensive back, with two counts of sexual assault on July 18. Messam, a running back, was released by the Saskatchewan Roughriders after being charged with voyeurism by Calgary police on July 30.

In both cases, the player was essentially barred by the league from signing with another team. Neither of the alleged offences have been proven in court.

"Our concern is that the CFL office has subjectively and on a case-by-case basis imposed sanctions against these players — citing league policies that may be contradictory to the collective bargaining agreement," the union said.

CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie said he was aware of the CFLPA's statement in his own statement.

"On behalf of the CFL, I can tell you that we take our policy on violence against women and our commitment to safe communities very seriously," Ambrosie said. "We look at each situation on a case by case basis using the best and most reliable information available to us. Beyond that, we cannot comment further on individual cases that are before the courts. We have discussed these matters with the CFLPA and will continue to do so in the future because we believe in an open and constructive dialogue with its leaders."