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Ottawa Redblacks quarterback Jeremiah Masoli took to social media Tuesday night to address the vicious hit that knocked him out of last week's road loss to the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
Roughrider defensive lineman Garrett Marino was ejected in the fourth quarter of Saskatchewan's 28-13 home win Friday night after diving into Masoli's legs as he threw a pass. With Masoli on the ground, Marino flexed his muscles and gestured to the Mosaic Stadium crowd in celebration as he left the field following the hit.
That prompted some Redblacks players to go to Saskatchewan's sideline to confront Marino. Even after being ejected, Marino lifted his helmet to the crowd and pounded his chest as he headed to the locker room.
On Monday, the CFL slapped Marino with three different suspensions totalling a league-record four games. Marino was banned two games for the hit on Masoli, another for a verbal comment about the quarterback's heritage and one game for an illegal tackle on a previous play in the game.
Masoli was carted off the field and will require surgery. He's expected to be out 10 to 12 weeks.
Marino, in his second season with Saskatchewan, has a previous ejection and two fines in 12 career CFL games.
"I've seen the poor and uninformed excuses given by Saskatchewan's head coach and no apology from Garrett Marino, coach (Craig) Dickenson or any executive from Saskatchewan," Masoli said in a statement released on his Twitter account.
"After playing 12 games and already with a previous ejection and two fines before this incident, it is clear Garrett Marino cannot control himself.
"The welfare and safety of the CFL players do matter and we should not have to worry about those who consistently cannot play within the rules. It's an unacceptable pattern of behaviour on top of the embarrassing way he celebrated as I was down shows how proud he is of his dirty ways."
Masoli was also critical about Marino's suspension for his comments about Masoli’s heritage. The 33-year-old Masoli was born in San Francisco to parents of Samoan descent.
"The worst of it is the vile and disrespectable type of behaviour and racial insults that were made toward me more than once," he said. "In the CFL we say our diversity is our strength, so there should be no place for the racial hate.
"It's sad that the hate, racist attitudes and racial insults are going to be punished with a slap on the wrist. One game for racist insults is simply not enough in my opinion and hopefully we can use this to promote growth and change for the better. We need to protect the integrity of the game."
With Masoli out, the Redblacks acquired quarterback Nick Arbuckle from the Edmonton Elks on Monday for a 2023 fourth-round draft pick. Ottawa first obtained Arbuckle's rights from Calgary on Jan. 3, 2020 and ultimately signed him.
But Arbuckle never played in Ottawa as the CFL didn't stage a 2020 season because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He joined the Toronto Argonauts in February 2021 before being dealt to Edmonton on Oct. 26, 2021.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 12, 2022.
The Canadian Press