Calgary RB Jon Cornish tweets headhunting claim, then deletes and walks it back

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Calgary Stampeders quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell (R) hands the ball off to Jon Cornish against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats during the first half of their CFL football game in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, October 2, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

Stampeders quarterback Mitchell hands the ball off to Cornish against the Tiger-Cats during their CFL football game in Hamilton

Calgary Stampeders quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell (R) hands the ball off to Jon Cornish against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats during the first half of their CFL football game in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, October 2, 2015. REUTERS/Mark Blinch

Post-game tweets are causing plenty of controversy Sunday, with the Ottawa Redblacks' account criticized in some quarters for tweaking the Ticats after Hamilton's East Final loss and injured Calgary RB Jon Cornish getting into hot water himself with an apparent headhunting allegation against Edmonton soon after the Eskimos' 45-31 win over the Stampeders. The allegation came in the wake of Calgary RB Jerome Messam taking what looked like a hit to the head late in the game. The important context here is that Cornish hasn't played since suffering a suspected concussion in an Oct. 10 loss to Edmonton, and that he also suffered a concussion last year. Cornish has since deleted the tweet in question, but via a witness, here's what it said:

Calgary RB Jon Cornish sent this controversial tweet after the Eskimos beat the Stampders Sunday.
Calgary RB Jon Cornish sent this controversial tweet after the Eskimos beat the Stampders Sunday.

 This sparked plenty of criticism from others (which likely is what caused Cornish to delete the tweet):

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To his credit, Cornish walked back his initial comments with subsequent tweets:

It's understandable that Cornish is frustrated here. Head injuries ruined his season (and after he returned from an early-season broken thumb), and they may have a further impact on his career. Losing to Edmonton also hurts, and he was watching it from the sidelines. Moreover, the hit on Messam likely brought back bad memories for him. Still, that doesn't mean that an accusation of deliberately targeting heads is fair or justified.

To his credit, Cornish walked that back, and his points about the league needing to discourage headshots are absolutely justified (and have been made here before), especially considering the recent wave of concussion-related retirements and the current concussion lawsuits against the CFL. Head injuries and how the league can work to prevent them absolutely should be discussed, and Cornish should have a major presence in that discussion. Deliberate accusations of targeting heads without a lot of proof right after a loss aren't the best way to handle that discussion, though.

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