Hamilton Tiger-Cats linebacker Simoni Lawrence will miss the next two CFL games for his hit on Zach Collaros more than a month ago.
In a statement Tuesday morning, the CFL said it was “pleased that the arbitrator has decided to uphold the two-game suspension” against Lawrence for his late hit on the Saskatchewan Roughriders quarterback on the fourth play of the June 13 game.
“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,” the league said in its emailed statement.
Lawrence is now required to serve his two-game suspension, starting with the Ti-Cats upcoming game against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Friday and a trip to Mosaic Stadium to play the Riders on Aug. 1.
The 30-year-old quarterback left the game after taking a hit to the head by Lawrence, who was teammates with Collaros through four seasons with the Tiger-Cats. Collaros was sliding feet-first at the end of a seven-yard run when Lawrence slammed his left shoulder into the head of the defenceless quarterback.
Lawrence was assessed a 25-yard Grade 2 roughing-the-passer penalty and remained in the game.
“(Collaros) gave himself up and he still took a head shot,” Edem said. “It was blatant and (Lawrence) should have been out of the game.”
The league responded to the hit by suspending Lawrence for two games, whereupon the player filed an appeal. The ruling on the appeal was announced more than a month after the hit, prompting the Leader-Post’s Rob Vanstone to declare the CFL’s disciplinary system “a mess.”
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