Stampeders receiver Nik Lewis says he isn't bitter and just wants to forget about a racially charged incident from a CFL game four months ago. An investigation took more than 100 days before the CFL announced yesterday there was no conclusive evidence to back up Lewis' allegations an on-field official uttered a racial slur toward him.
The league said after an extensive third-party investigation, no conclusive evidence was found concerning Lewis' allegations against a game official following an Oct. 22 Stampeders-Lions matchup at B.C. Place.
"I'm just glad it's over," the 22-year-old Lewis said from his off-season home in Texas.
"I'm past that now and just looking forward to this next season."
Lewis was the CFL's outstanding rookie last season and will play a key role in the club's revamped offence in 2005.
"I'm not going to let one negative change my attitude towards the whole situation," said Lewis, adding he felt he was warmly received last year in Calgary but stands by his allegations.
"I had a lot of fun up there, so it's still positive for me.
"I know what I heard but I'm not going to press the issue. People say things in the heat of the moment sometimes, say things they don't actually mean. I don't know him and I don't know if he's that way or not but I've just let it go and looked past it.
"I'm ready to play again."
Commissioner Tom Wright said in a statement the CFL will maintain a strong stance against racism.
"I want to reiterate this league's zero tolerance position on all forms of racism or racial discrimination in any role, on or off the field," Wright said.
"Any allegation of discrimination is taken very seriously, with full commitment from the commissioner's office to ensure a thorough investigation is conducted and the appropriate action is taken based on conclusive findings."
Immediately following the alleged incident, the league retained the services of an independent third party to conduct an extensive investigation.
The league said the process involved several phases, including multiple direct interviews, videotape analysis of both TSN broadcast and club-produced footage, and the filing of a formal report by investigators to the commissioner's office.
The league never released the name of the official in question.