Assault charges against Riders’ Dwight Anderson, Taj Smith lead to defence from Tamon George

As if things weren't bad enough for the Saskatchewan Roughriders following a week where they lost the Banjo Bowl to the then-1-8 Winnipeg Blue Bombers, two of their players appeared in court Thursday on aggravated assault charges. The charges are against defensive back Dwight Anderson and receiver Taj Smith. According to Global News, they stem from an August 18 incident that has been under investigation for weeks:

Regina police say 32-year-old Dwight Anderson and 29-year-old Tajiddin Smith Wilson (Taj Smith) are each facing one charge of aggravated assault.

In the early-morning hours of Sunday, August 18 police were called to a nightclub on Dewdney Avenue where a group of people were apparently involved in a fight. When officers arrived they found a 20-year-old man suffering from serious injuries that were consistent with a physical altercation.

After several weeks of investigation, Anderson and Smith were arrested and charged on Wednesday, September 11.

Smith and Anderson made their first court appearance on Thursday morning and the judge has ordered both to not enter bars and abstain from alcohol/drugs. Their next court appearance is scheduled for October 8th.

The weeks of investigation would seem to suggest that this might turn into something notable, as this isn't just a quick reaction. However, there was one particularly notable response on Twitter from former Roughrider defensive back Tamon George, a Regina native now working on a MBA in Washington, D.C. Here's what he had to say:

It's impossible to say exactly what happened in the Anderson and Smith case given the limited information that's come out thus far, but George makes excellent points about what life can be like for professional athletes, and that's probably particularly true in a city like Regina where people are so passionate about their football. As Ian Busby noted too, Anderson has gotten into plenty of trouble on the field, but has never had a reported off-field incident in seven CFL seasons, so branding him as a troublemaker is a bit much. For now, the best response from the Roughriders is probably waiting to see what details emerge. It's a concerning story, though, and one worth keeping an eye on.