Blue Bomber Report Record: 3–1–0

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Turner fined by CFL for offensive tweet

Bomber, Alouettes' Bruce disparaged gay player

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No, his Twitter account wasn't hacked. Yes, he typed the offending words.

And yes, Winnipeg Blue Bombers all-star defensive tackle Bryant Turner is sorry for an offensive tweet he sent out Sunday regarding openly gay football player Michael Sam.

Hours after he was fined Tuesday by the CFL and publicly called out by his own team, Turner returned to Twitter Tuesday afternoon to issue an unreserved apology.

'I would like to apologize for my inappropriate and insensitive tweet. My tweets are solely from me, and I accept full responsibility for my actions. I am sincerely sorry for any shame that I may have caused the great city of Winnipeg, the CFL or the wonderful Blue Bomber organization'

-- Bryant Turner

"I would like to apologize for my inappropriate and insensitive tweet. My tweets are solely from me, and I accept full responsibility for my actions. I am sincerely sorry for any shame that I may have caused the great city of Winnipeg, the CFL or the wonderful Blue Bomber organization," Turner tweeted.

Turner's apology came after the CFL announced that they had levied undisclosed fines against Turner and Montreal Alouettes receiver Arland Bruce for comments they tweeted from their personal Twitter accounts this week about Sam, a U.S. college football player who publicly announced Sunday he is intending to become the first openly gay player to play in the NFL.

Just hours after Sam made his announcement on Sunday, Turner tweeted the following from his personal Twitter account:

"@Blitz_Turner: Michael Sam locker room gonna come with complimentary robes."

Turner quickly deleted the tweet.

Bruce, meanwhile, urged Sam, among other things, to "submit fully to God."

CFL commissioner Marc Cohon condemned the tweets in announcing the fines.

"The comments made by these players are extremely disappointing and do not represent the CFL's views or the views of the vast majority of our players," said Cohon in a statement issued by the league. "The CFL is supportive of openly gay athletes in professional sports and we commend the courage shown by Michael Sam. During the off-season, we have been working with an organization that specializes in this subject and look forward to announcing a formal partnership with them in the near future."

The Bombers also issued a statement on Tuesday regarding Turner, which read: "It is unfortunate that Bryant made this comment through social media. Any athlete with the ability and determination has the right to succeed in their sport. Both our president/CEO and general manager have spoken with Bryant regarding this, and those conversations will remain internal."

The CFL players association also issued a statement Tuesday condemning the tweets.

"These comments do not reflect the beliefs of the CFLPA or the vast majority of its members," said CFLPA president Mike Morreale. "Our association is proud to be open to all players regardless of ethnicity, religion, cultural diversity or sexual orientation. I applaud Michael Sam's courage in making this announcement and hope that someday such announcements won't be newsworthy."

paul.wiecek@freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @PaulWiecek

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 12, 2014 D4

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