Roughriders Robertson Suspended after Headbutting Incident: Owns Up to Mistake

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Arriving off the cusp of an exhilarating overtime victory over Sunday’s Labour Day Classic, the Saskatchewan Roughriders engaged in their first practice session. An absence was noticeable in their ranks – that of defensive lineman Pete Robertson, serving a newly minted suspension for his headbutt on Bombers’ quarterback, Zach Collaros.

“My ultimate downfall was placing my team in that predicament. I’m known for my high intensity and physical play,” Robertson offered during an interaction with the media that Wednesday. “My aggression is reflective, a tit-for-tat response. The error I made is a scar on my manhood. I iterated to my teammates that I give no quarter to hollow excuses.”

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Swift retribution followed Robertson’s rogue move on the field – a one-game suspension served to him a day following the incident. “The swift sanction didn’t come as a shock. I envisioned this path, prepared myself for the possibility,” Robertson disclosed.

The league’s sharp decision echoed predictably in the ears of Riders Head Coach, Craig Dickenson. “The rapid response of the league was anticipated. While we regret Pete’s suspension, our disappointment runs deeper for the regrettable act he committed,” Dickenson asserted. “We don’t endorse such behavior and it’s certainly not a trait we wish to nurture in the game.”

In the immediate aftermath of Sunday’s game, Dickenson admitted to not having seen the hit and was not initially harboring thoughts of a suspension. By Wednesday, however, Dickenson had revised his stance. “It was unpalatable—even without witnessing it firsthand. The behavior displayed is not representative of the Pete we know and anticipate in the future. He’s remorseful for his actions. We’re relieved Zach’s well-being isn’t compromised and he’s set to partake in this game,” conveyed Dickenson.

The incident adorned discussions at the Bombers’ practice on Wednesday in Winnipeg, where Collaros made his first public statement after the post-game uproar. “I was caught in the startling aftermath and quite infuriated,” Collaros candidly admitted.

“While reflecting on it post-game, I wouldn’t suggest anyone be deprived of their earnings. However, considering decisions made to safeguard quarterbacks in the league, I felt something pertinent needed to be expressed during that moment. It’s a narrative we revisited last year, during the Jeremiah Masoli incident. The goal is to keep players on the field. I’m not advocating this just because I’m a quarterback—it simply states the current predicament, ” he nonchalantly added.

Despite the ongoing suspension, Robertson was present at the Wednesday practice—partially participating and immediately addressing his actions to his fellow teammates. “Upon returning to our team, while reviewing the match footage, I confessed it was largely my misstep with the timing of the game being equally culpable. At no point is such a penalty tolerable, especially in such a crucial juncture where losing control comes at a hefty price,” Robertson explained.

Acknowledging this, quarterback Jake Dolegala said, “It’s regrettable what he’s done, and his remorse is evident. He owned his actions, apologising in front of the entire team. While his absence is unfortunate, it echoes the sentiment that such behavior has no place in our game. It opens the floor for others to seize the opportunity.”

While the Riders grapple with the loss, no decision has been made yet on who might replace Robertson at defensive end this weekend.