Simoni Lawrence suspension upheld by arbitrator

TORONTO — The Canadian Football League issued a statement Tuesday after learning of an arbitrator’s decision regarding the pending suspension of Hamilton Tiger-Cats linebacker Simoni Lawrence.

The statement reads as follows:

“We are pleased that the Arbitrator has decided to uphold the two-game suspension for Hamilton Tiger-Cat Simoni Lawrence for his conduct during play #4 of CFL game #10 on June 13. Dangerous and reckless play must be disciplined, not simply for the sake of punishment, but to deter such play in the future. 

“We all need to take and support strong action to promote and protect player health and safety. We look forward to continuing to work with our players on this mission. Mr. Lawrence is now required to serve his two-game suspension, starting with his team’s next game, scheduled for Friday, July 26.”

Lawrence was handed a two-game suspension on June 17th after the veteran Tiger-Cats linebacker made direct contact to the head of Saskatchewan Roughriders quarterback Zach Collaros in the Ticats’ season opener on Thursday at Tim Hortons Field.

Two days later, the CFLPA contested the decision which allowed Lawrence to suit up in the last four games for the ‘Cats.  The decision prompted the CFL to issue a statement saying that it was “deeply disappointed that the CFLPA has decided to contest the league’s attempt to punish and deter a dangerous play.”