An altercation at Saskatchewan Roughriders practice on Monday turned into a social media firestorm overnight but was quickly doused at the end of practice on Tuesday.
“We’re not going to sit here and harp on what was blown up, quite honestly, on Twitter,” said head coach Chris Jones.
“Football is a violent sport. We practise it hard, there’s going to be altercations, and that’s the end of the story.”
Rider Nation was whipped into a frenzy after an impulsive tweet by receiver Duron Carter on Monday afternoon, saying “It was fun while it lasted.”
It caused some members of the media to speculate the controversial receiver had been cut or suspended along with other players involved in the altercation.
Carter’s presence at practice Tuesday would dispute that speculation.
“Aw, man, it’s just guys playing football. We’re out here playing a kids’ game. Sometimes we get into it and that’s what happens” — which is about as much information as media got out of Carter on Tuesday.
Asked what he meant by his “it was fun while it lasted” tweet, Carter said, “I’ve been having a lot of fun out here. Hopefully I can have more fun.”
It became obvious players were under a gag order when conducting interviews with the media.
Only team Captain Jovon Johnson, who threw himself into the Twitter storm Monday night, said the entire incident was blown out of proportion.
“You know a lot of the stuff people were talking about, they didn’t know what they were talking about. So me being a captain on this team I tried to put things into perspective as to what really was going on without telling people what actually happened,” said Johnson on Tuesday.
Johnson did shed some light on the actual altercation.
“The quarterbacks and receivers do something once they break down from individual, and Sam [Williams] kind of got into the middle of what they were doing and it just kind of flared the situation,” he said.
“It could have been controlled, but at the end of the day it was nothing that serious. But he shouldn’t have been involved with what they were doing: they do it every single day.”
Williams was not at practice on Tuesday. The official word is that he is sick.
Carter, the son of pro football hall of famer Cris Carter, has been a controversial figure since entering the CFL in 2013.
Despite catching on average near 1,000 yards a season, Carter was released by the Montreal Alouettes in 2016 for being too much of a distraction.
Last Friday’s game against Ottawa was Carter in a nutshell: an objectionable conduct penalty, 231 yards receiving, and no doubt hundreds of autographs signed following the game.
“If it wasn’t Duron Carter — if it was another player on this team — none of you would be here talking about it right now,” said Johnson.
Jones would not confirm whether Carter will play Friday in Calgary.
He said the roster will come out later in the week.
Asked whether he would have a chat with Carter on what he tweets, Jones said: “No, I’m not. Duron’s a grown man. He can do the things that he needs to do as long as it doesn’t affect this team in a negative way.”