Current track



CFL suspends Argos quarterback Kelly for minimum of nine games

Written by on May 7, 2024

TORONTO — The CFL has suspended Toronto Argonauts quarterback Chad Kelly for at least nine regular-season games following its investigation into a lawsuit filed by a former strength-and-conditioning coach against both the player and club.

According to the CFL, Kelly is also suspended for Toronto’s two pre-season games for violating its gender-based violence policy. Kelly must undergo confidential assessments by an independent expert and attend mandatory counselling sessions conducted by a gender-based violence expert.

Both the counselling sessions and assessments must be satisfactorily completed before the CFL will consider Kelly’s reinstatement, the league added in a statement. Otherwise, the league reserves the right to modify his discipline.

Kelly, 30, was the CFL’s outstanding player last season after leading Toronto to a league-best and franchise-record 16-2 record. But the Argos’ season ended with a 38-17 home loss to eventual Grey Cup-champion Montreal in the East Division final.

There was no announcement regarding any penalties or sanctions against the Argos. But the league added the club’s conduct in this matter, as laid out by the investigators, will be reviewed with the club.

Kelly wasn’t immediately available for comment. Neither the Argos nor the CFL Players’ Association offered responses either.

The CFL’s decision to launch its investigation came after the complainant filed a statement of claim with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, alleging a pattern of harassment by Kelly, beginning with unwanted romantic advances and escalating into instances of threatening language.

The coach said the Argos did not act when told of Kelly’s behaviour and claims assistant general manager John Murphy said she “opened a can of worms that didn’t need to be opened.”

CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie said the league’s investigation revealed definite violations of its gender-based violence policy.

“It was important that we performed our due diligence to properly review this matter from all points of view,” Ambrosie said in a statement. “That in-depth investigation found that Mr. Kelly unequivocally violated the CFL’s gender-based violence policy.

“Mr. Kelly’s suspension is the direct result of his behaviour. The addition of mandatory counselling focuses on his need for self-reflection and understanding of his actions. He must take full advantage of this.”

The complainant said she was informed in January her contract with the club would not be renewed. The complainant had joined the franchise in 2018 and said her contract had previously been continually renewed.

The complainant is seeking $80,000 from Kelly and a total of $85,714 from the Argos. The Canadian Press does not publish the names of alleged victims of harassment or sexual assault unless granted permission.

TSN also reported the complainant is also seeking $10,000 worth of punitive damages.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 5, 2024.

The Canadian Press