Duron Carter of the Montreal Alouettes has been suspended 1 game for an altercation in the third quarter in a week 2 matchup with the Ottawa RedBlacks. The CFL handed down the suspension on Monday, three days after the Alouettes organization themselves fined Carter for his actions.
Carter made a miraculous catch in the end zone while being taken apart like a Mr. Potato Head. Obviously excited, he made his way suspiciously up the field close to the sideline to celebrate with is team on the Alouettes bench. He unfortunately had to first
trot past sprint towards the 386 people on the RedBlacks bench (seriously, isn’t there some sort of card limit for football teams?). This 386 doesn’t include the dozen or so who were for some reason already on the field near the sideline, including Ottawa head coach Rick Campbell. Rick Campbell was in the line of travel and Duron Carter, who had I’m sure coincidentally slowed to a walk right at the point where the RedBlacks bench begins, simply kept walking. Right over Rick Campbell. Who flew back several feet.
Ok. Carter didn’t need to make such a direct line to the Ottawa bench after the touchdown. He probably deserves the suspension for needlessly inciting the incident. But to his full credit, he never stopped walking. Ever. He took many shots, pushes, and even a punch. He was forced well off the field and deep into the heart of enemy territory. Yet not once did he even turn his head. He just walked to his bench staring straight ahead. Even though he caused it in a way, he also severely lessened the potential escalation with his composure.
I’m fine with the 1 game suspension to perhaps stop an overly zealous celebration in the future, but what about everyone else? On top of the Carter suspension, Ottawa RedBlacks Safety Jermaine Robinson was fined for a high hit to Carter’s head area during the TD reception. RedBlacks defensive back Jerrell Gavins has been fined for throwing a punch at a player during the sideline incident and an inappropriate gesture to a fan after being kicked out. Campbell was fined by the CFL because a review concluded “he could have done more to avoid contact with the player”.
Are you telling me that running toward a bench and taunting a bunch of grown men is more punishable than a major, potentially severe injury inducing high speed head shot? Are you telling me it’s more punishable than the combination of punching a guy and making a gesture at a fan? But he knocked a coach over you might say. So what is that hero doing on the field anyway? “He could have done more to avoid contact with the player”. He didn’t do anything to avoid contact, and in fact he went out of his way to take a couple of steps and guarantee contact. That contact is the only reason his players retaliated. That’s what caused all the other incidents the CFL handed out discipline for.
I understand why Duron Carter was suspended by the CFL for his role in the incident, but I don’t understand why Duron Carter was the only one suspended by the CFL for his role.