Roughriders Regroup After Robertson’s Suspension for Controversial Hit


Keeping the echoes of their victorious overtime triumph at Sunday’s Labour Day Classic still alive, The Saskatchewan Roughriders reconvened on the practice field. Significantly, this was not only their first practice since their heartening victory but also since defensive lineman, Pete Robertson, faced his suspension for a head butt on Bombers’ quarterback, Zach Collaros.

Shedding light on the incident, Robertson maintained, “My biggest regret is landing my team in this bind. I am known to play with high intensity and physicality, always striving to match my opponents. However, what transpired that day was nothing more than a blunder on my part. I have been forthright with my team, acknowledging my mistake without any justification.”

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Immediate aftermath of the game witnessed the league imposing a one-game suspension on Robertson. Acknowledging the decision, Robertson stated with an air of prepared anticipation, “I wasn’t surprised when the decision took a day. I was ready for it as it was the plausible course of action.”

Riders Head Coach Craig Dickenson mirrored Robertson’s sentiments. Reflecting on the league’s decision to act swiftly in implementing the suspension, Dickenson confessed that while it was disappointing, it was also expected. “His actions, which we clearly disapprove of and do not endorse as a team, merited an immediate reaction. We certainly do not want this to be a recurrent characteristic of the game,” elaborated Dickenson.

While Coach Dickenson did not witness the controversial hit as it unfolded, he was not anticipating a suspension immediately after the game. However, a change in perspective was evident as he admitted, “The incident was a severe one. It is not indicative of the Pete we know and who we are confident will shine in the future. He has expressed remorse for his actions and we are immensely relieved Zach is unscathed and continues to be part of the game.”

In Winnipeg, Wednesday’s Bomber practice session was where Collaros addressed the media for the first time post the incident. Recollecting his emotions at the time, he confessed, “It was quite shocking and left me irate, I must admit.”

Robertson, though present at the Wednesday practice, was not deeply involved due to his suspension. He did, however, confess to having addressed his actions with the team. Reflecting on the incident, Robertson stated, “The incident was completely my mistake, and it was gravely mis-timed. Such a penalty is unacceptable at any point, but losing control during a crucial moment was an evident lapse on my part.”

Echoing Robertson’s sentiments, quarterback Jake Dolegala said, “Clearly, he is regretful and apologetic. It is unfortunate that he is suspended. However, his absence does open up opportunities for others in the game.”

While the player to fill Robertson’s defensive end position this weekend remains undecided for the Riders, the team continues to grapple with the repercussions of the incident.