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Vanstone: Marino matter continues to dominate discussion in Riderville

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Saskatchewan Roughriders head coach Craig Dickenson feels “a message needed to be despatched” to suspended defensive lineman Garrett Marino.

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Craig Dickenson, the pinnacle coach of a 4-1 soccer crew that’s coming off a convincing victory and getting ready for a landmark recreation, confronted assorted media carnivores Tuesday and started fielding incessant questions on, nicely, not one of the above.

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Hiya once more, Garrett Marino.

Really, the Roughriders’ controversial defensive deal with wasn’t wherever close to reporters’ prying eyes throughout or after the crew’s first follow of the week at Mosaic Stadium.

As somebody who’s beneath suspension and never ticketed to play Saturday towards the Toronto Argonauts in Wolfville, N.S., the most-talked-about determine in Canadian skilled soccer in latest days was tucked away, someplace.

The plan is for Marino to quickly converse publicly for the primary time since he singlehandedly turned Friday’s recreation — the Roughriders’ 28-13 home-field victory over Ottawa — right into a circus by injuring Jeremiah Masoli with an unlawful hit and continuing to have fun because the Redblacks’ quarterback was writhing in ache.

After investigating the matter for a number of days, the CFL announced Monday night that Marino had been suspended for a total of four games.

“I feel a message needed to be despatched — I actually do — and I feel he bought it, loud and clear,” mentioned Dickenson, who had deliberate to take a seat Marino out of Saturday’s recreation even earlier than the league issued its suspension.

“It’s only a unhappy deal for everyone. There’s no winners on this. I perceive the league needed to come down laborious and ship a message, they usually did. We really feel unhealthy for everyone concerned, together with Jeremiah and together with our guys. It’s a tragic deal and hopefully it by no means occurs once more.”

The league suspended Marino for 2 video games on account of what was termed a “harmful and reckless low hit” on Masoli and the ensuing antics, which led to the 27-year-old lineman being disqualified.

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After flexing his muscle mass, Marino doubled down by elevating his palms within the air and blowing kisses to the group as he headed to the dressing room.

Moreover, Marino was handed one-game suspensions for an alleged reference to Masoli’s heritage — he’s of Polynesian descent — and for an “unlawful and reckless deal with” of a Redblacks offensive lineman on a distinct play.

One large mess. 4 video games price of punishment — the longest sentence in league historical past referring to game-related misbehaviour.

“It’s unprecedented,” Dickenson mentioned. “I feel for what he did on the sphere, it’s a little bit harsh. However his response, the way in which he acted when he left, he is aware of that was an enormous mistake. That’s one thing we don’t condone round right here, nor will we need to encourage it.

“We’ll dwell with it and go from there.”

If there’s any unease on Dickenson’s half, it pertains to the portion of the self-discipline that was meted out for what Marino is accused to have uttered.

“I’m not as in favour of that as a result of that, to me, could also be a little bit little bit of a attain,” the Roughriders’ area boss mentioned. “I’ll let the league determine that out. I’ll let the participant discuss to the (CFL Gamers’ Affiliation) and determine if he desires to enchantment that a part of the suspension.

“It’s as much as him what he desires to do. We help him if he desires to do it. We help him if he accepts it, however that one is a troublesome one.”

Why may it’s, within the head coach’s appraisal, “a little bit little bit of a attain”?

“I don’t suppose Garrett’s a racist,” Dickenson mentioned of the second-year Roughrider. “I do know Garrett personally. I understand how a lot he has grown within the final 12 months.”

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Masoli disagrees fairly vehemently.

“After enjoying 12 video games and already with a earlier ejection and two fines earlier than this incident, it’s clear that Garrett Marino can’t management himself,” Masoli wrote on his Twitter account (@jmasoli8) on Tuesday.

“The welfare and security of CFL gamers (does) matter and we must always not have to fret about those that constantly can’t play throughout the guidelines. It’s an unacceptable sample of behaviour on high of the embarrassing manner he celebrated as I used to be down exhibits how proud he’s of his soiled methods.

“The worst of it’s the vile and disrespectful sort of behaviour and racial insults that have been made in direction of me greater than as soon as. Within the CFL we are saying our range is our power, so there needs to be no place for the racial hate.

“It’s been investigated and confirmed by the CFL and shouldn’t be tolerated — on or off the sphere. The insensitive feedback made by coach Dickenson are indicative of how oblivious they’re to those severe details they select to disregard.

“The CFL has executed and continues to do nice work with communities of all backgrounds throughout Canada which is one thing we’re happy with. It’s unhappy that the hate and racist attitudes and racial insults are going to be punished with a slap on the wrist.

“One recreation for racist insults is solely not sufficient in my view and hopefully we are able to use this to advertise progress and alter for the higher. We have to shield the integrity of the sport.”

Masoli, who’s sidelined 10 to 12 weeks with an damage to his proper leg, additionally lamented “the poor and uninformed excuses given by Saskatchewan’s head coach and no apology from Garrett Marino, Coach Dickenson, or any government from Saskatchewan.”

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With all of this swirling round, the Roughriders are readying themselves for a cross-country flight, the hoopla surrounding the Landing Atlantic highway present and, lest we overlook, a recreation.

“I feel it’s a distraction, after all, however I feel it’s going to assist this crew develop collectively and get stronger,” quarterback Cody Fajardo mentioned.

“We’re brothers, so we discuss issues out. We hash it out. We don’t at all times agree on the whole lot, however the one factor we did in that locker room is guys let Garrett understand how we felt about it, and we informed him we’re going to help him, as a result of he’s on our crew and we’re going to assist him get via these robust instances.”

Robust instances, certainly, at 4-1.

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