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Hamilton Tiger-Cats Change Course on Art Briles’ Hiring

A reversal for the better by the CFL’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Art Briles, the former Baylor Bears football coach, was set to start his new position with the CFL‘s Hamilton Tiger-Cats, but the team changed their minds. The Tiger-Cats have decided that it is best that they don’t invite the ill feelings headed their way with Briles associated with the team.

So many arguments have occurred lately about how much control fan reaction has over hirings and firings of coaches, upper management and even player personnel. However, when a former coach involved in one of the worst sexually negative environments is involved, it is best that people listen to the calls for his immediate firing.

CEO Scott Mitchell cited a “tsunami of negativity” surrounding the hiring of Briles, although Mitchell felt the coach deserved a second chance, according to ESPN.

“Most of the tsunami of negativity started in the [United] States,” Mitchell said. “I think most of the social media activity was generated out of the States, where Art Briles and Baylor is still a very, very fresh issue. I think we clearly underestimated that. …

“We underestimated the tsunami of negativity that was going to happen, and we made a mistake in trying to contemplate a second chance versus the impact of what had happened at Baylor. … I think as the day went on, it just became very clear that despite the fact that most people in life believe in second chances, it just became very clear that this was just not acceptable to people.”

The decision by the Tiger-Cats to pull the plug on Briles is something that needed to be done because of his knowledge and involvement of the hailstorm that surrounded Baylor last year. Sometimes second chances are better served by a cold shoulder that helps separate inappropriate behavior from portions of society. And the sports world is starting to take notice in certain areas.

Tiger-Cats owner Bob Young weighed in on the decision with his statement as well.

“We made a large and serious mistake,” Young said in the statement. “We want to apologize to our fans, corporate partners and the Canadian Football League. It has been a difficult season and we are searching for answers. This is clearly not one of them. We have listened, we are reviewing our decision-making processes and we will learn. We will go on. We want to thank our fans, partners and the CFL for their help and support,” via ESPN.

It appears that the neighbors to the North know that certain things are harder to overcome than others, and they weren’t ready to deal with the consequences of keeping Briles on the coaching staff — rightfully so.

Mitchell continued to unload about the decision during a radio interview on Tuesday, according to the ESPN report.

“There is the truth about what went on [at Baylor] and then there is what is out there in the media,” Mitchell said. “I think probably we got far too wrapped up in what we understand happened. … We felt he deserved a second opportunity. Clearly that’s unacceptable to society today. It’s unacceptable to the media that have taken on the issue.

Social media has also given more volume to voices that are often muffled in the background, and this scenario showed that people are actually listening to what fans and spectators around the world have to say.

“It gets to a point of negativity where you can’t defend a mistake like that, where the general public has said it’s not acceptable,” Mitchell said. “There is no moral high ground on an issue like this, second chance or otherwise.”

Mitchell also touched on reaction to player’s and others that are taking part in domestic violence.

“I think anything related to domestic violence is — for good reason — so toxic that regardless of what limited or extreme level someone may have had in it, it’s just totally unacceptable to the public that somebody is going to be allowed to work, based on that experience right now,” via ESPN.

If the CFL can figure out that there are certain things that do not belong in and around the game of football, maybe the NFL can figure that same thing out soon.

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