Blue won't budge on Troy

SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 11:33 AM ET

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are standing behind their decision to deny media credentials to Troy Westwood, the team's former placekicker who is now a freelance columnist for the Winnipeg Sun.

Arash Madani, the Bombers director of media and communications, issued a 950-word statement late yesterday afternoon, outlining how the organization determines who gets a spot in the press box.

Madani did not address why Westwood has been denied a season media pass. Several local media members get a season pass but not a permanent press box seat.

Westwood did receive season tickets from the team shortly after he was released.

"I want to stress that the decision to deny Troy Westwood media credentials for tonight's game, and moving forward, is based completely and solely on these policies," Madani wrote. "It has nothing to do personalities or personal opinions."

FORMALLY COMPLAINED

The Football Reporters of Canada (FRC) formally complained to the Bombers and the CFL after they denied the Sun's request for credentials for Westwood earlier this week.

Westwood, who was cut during training camp after 17 seasons with the Blue and Gold, has been writing a column for the Sun since Week 2. Last week he wrote that head coach Doug Berry has lost the respect of most of his players.

Westwood's column appears two days after each Bombers game, so the organization feels he doesn't need to have the same priority access to a press box seat as those working on a deadline.

The Bombers issue passes and press box seats on a priority scale, and Westwood, as a freelancer, falls into the fourth category behind rights holders, national and local media who cover the team on a regular basis, and regional media.

CONSISTENT COMMITMENT

"If there is room for any freelancer, we strive to accommodate those with a consistent commitment to covering our club," Madani wrote.

"As a freelancer, Troy has never attended a practice, walkthrough or, until now, made a request for any kind of access.

"This could not be said of any accredited member of the media currently granted access to our press box. Troy is also not a member of the FRC."

Madani noted that both the Winnipeg Sun and Winnipeg Free Press get three seats, although the Free Press often has four employees in the press box.

Madani also indicated that if the Sun wants to change who sits in its three seats, they would be willing to address the matter then.

Every seat in the press box during last night's game had a name assigned to it, but there were still three or four empty spaces.


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