Kelly fined, apologizes

Mike Kelly apologized for his comments to a radio station following a loss over the weekend. (Sun...

Mike Kelly apologized for his comments to a radio station following a loss over the weekend. (Sun Media/Brian Donogh)

JIM BENDER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:23 AM ET

Rookie Winnipeg head coach Mike Kelly just extended his league lead in apologies.

After his Blue Bombers were blown out 48-13 by the Alouettes in Montreal on Sunday, Kelly lost his temper during a post-game interview with the club's radio rights-holder and cursed on-air, using the term, "media bullsh--" because they had suggested his players had lost focus. He also abruptly hung up on the veteran crew.

The CFL has since fined Kelly $2,000 for the inappropriate comment. CFL commissioner Mark Cohon cited "Kelly's confrontational language, demeanour and tone, and continued pattern of disrespectful behaviour towards the media, saying it reflects poorly upon the Canadian Football League," according to the CFL website.

Before being fined, Kelly issued a statement of apology early yesterday morning -- apparently at the insistence of club president/CEO Lyle Bauer.

Kelly also issued the following apology when he met with local reporters yesterday afternoon:

"I apologize if people were offended by the language that I used. I will defend my players like a lion protecting its pride. People that don't show up to practice that want to make comments on the efforts that are made by our football team will not be tolerated or accepted. OK?

"So, if I offended people, I apologize. I am passionate about what we do here. I'm passionate about this football team. I am passionate about these players. I will defend them until there is not a drop of blood left in my body. We went out there and we played hard. We didn't get it done.

"Congratulations to Montreal -- 9-0 at home is unbelieveable. That is a very difficult thing to do. That is a very good football team. We didn't play well enough to beat them. But don't ever question the effort that's put in by our players, particularly by someone who never comes to practice and who never sees how our guys operate on a daily basis. So, if you're offended, I'm sorry."

It should be noted that Bob Irving, the veteran play-by-play announcer, attends all practices while analyst Mitch Zalnasky does not. Both had suggested the players had lost focus with this week's second-place showdown versus the Hamilton Tiger-Cats looming.

Kelly then drew a comparison to the Roughriders who were stunned 24-6 by the 'Cats in Hamilton.

"I'm sure Saskatchewan's feeling a little bit like us right now," he said. "Where was their game the other day?"

Actually, some Riders suggested they had lost focus.

Kelly refused to discuss the apology.


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