Khalif Mitchell may be running out of chances with the BC Lions. Photo: BCLionsDen.ca
I can’t tell you how disappointed I was to see that Khalif Mitchell had jumped into hot water again this morning. Meeting Khalif in person and seeing him interact with others at practices and other events it’s clear there is a passionate caring person inside his big frame, but his third incident of the season is also making it clear he may not be getting it.
I defended Khalif after the Rottier incident, giving him the benefit of the doubt that he just had a lapse in judgement. After the throat slashing gestures, I expressed a desire that he just concentrate on playing football, that all the other stuff wasn’t needed. I even agreed somewhat with his stance that he was being made an example of, although he was doing a pretty good job of earning that target. His team captains reportedly went to management with their concerns and we all hoped Khalif would come back and be the dominant force he has proven to be when he plays the game.
After the league levied yet another fine on Mitchell for his comments on Twitter earlier today, the Lions stepped up as well and did the right thing, suspending Mitchell for Friday’s game against the Eskimos. He left them with no choice.
To his credit, Mitchell did issue a statement apologizing for his comments.
“I made a comment, and it wasn’t right. I want to apologize. The comments that I made were done from unknown knowledge. I want to apologize to everyone out there who may have been offended, on behalf of me, my team and my organization.”
The Lions have constructed a certain environment in their organization and they expect that those that are part of it buy into the program. Mitchell has been given more chances than some others have in the past, mostly because he’s a very talented player, but also because those that know him often see the good in Khalif Mitchell, and there’s a lot of it.
Perhaps a suspension from his peers will flip some sort of switch. But you have to start to wonder how many more chances Mitchell will get and it appears by this quote from veteran Dante Marsh in a Mike Beamish piece that the rope is getting shorter.
“If I’m a grown man, and I don’t know how to police myself, or when to shut up, especially on a social site or a public forum, then I have some issues. I’ve done all that I can do.”
Fans hope no one has to do or say anything more, and we can all get this Khalif back.