October 10, 2016 - 4:20 PM
MONTREAL - Edmonton Eskimos coach Jason Maas and quarterback Mike Reilly refused to wear television microphones during their victory over Montreal on Monday because they didn't want any distractions.
And they are prepared to live with the consequences, if there are any.
The head coaches and quarterbacks of both clubs were supposed to be mic'd up for the TSN telecast. Montreal coach Jacques Chapdelaine and quarterback Rakeem Cato wore them.
"They can't hold a gun to your head to make you do it so we just decided not to do it," said Maas. "It's what's right for our football club, not what's right for the other people, that's the bottom line.
"We just decided between Mike and I not to do it and we'll live with the consequences."
The CFL released a statement that said it will review the matter this week.
"We are aware that Eskimos' head coach Jason Maas and quarterback Mike Reilly did not wear live microphones," it said. "Any decision on discipline will be made later this week when we review all potential football related discipline."
Reilly said he checked with the CFL Players Association and was told it was his choice whether to wear the microphone or not.
"I never signed any contract to put on a microphone during a game," he said. "If I felt comfortable doing it I would have been more than happy to do it."
"I'm here to win games and I don't think I would have played a very good game if I had other concerns. It's hard enough to play this position when you have a clear head and you're only thinking about football."
As for any league discipline, Reilly said: "They'll deal with it however they deal with it and that's what's going to happen. You can't change anything about it now. We played the game, we got the win and that's all I care about."
However, Montreal coach Jacques Chapdelaine felt it gave the Eskimos an unfair advantage. He understood from the league that it was mandatory and wondered if, when the Eskimos refused to wear them, the Alouettes should also have been given that choice.
"That wasn't communicated to us, so you could say, from a playing field, maybe it wasn't entirely level for both sides," said Chapdelaine, adding that wearing microphones is a progressive idea to try to enhance the broadcasts and the league.
"Those types of decisions go against that opportunity to make our league look better," he said. "The final judgement or decision is really not mine.
"It belongs to people at a higher level than I am. I would hope that, as a league, we can be a little more on the same page and be a bit more professional about those things."
News from © The Canadian Press, 2016