The Ottawa Redblacks announced that they have suspended defensive lineman Chris Larsen following allegations that he was involved in the assault of a man in Toronto.
“Late last night, we were made aware of social media allegations of an assault by a group of individuals that included Chris Larsen and immediately commenced an investigation which is ongoing,” Mark Goudie, CEO of the Redblacks’ parent company Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group, said in a statement Wednesday night.
Today, Goudie says, he was advised that an investigation by the Toronto Police is underway.
“I don’t pretend to know all of the specifics of this incident, but let me say this, the Redblacks and OSEG are proud of the role that we play in our community and we are committed to continuing to build an organization, both on and off the field, that reflects the values of our community.”
Goudie adds that diversity and inclusion are central to their organization.
“We will try our best to use our platform to help make acts of hate and violence, including homophobia, stop. We recognize there are larger system issues that plague our society, and as an organization, we know that we can play a role in making our community a more tolerant, respectful, educated and inclusive place."
He ended his statement with: “We are particularly sorry for the trauma caused to the 2SLGBTQ+ community.”
Larsen was drafted in the 2019 CFL draft but had not appeared in a game with the Redblacks.
OSEG says it will not comment further on the matter while the police investigation continues.
Allegations appeared on social media, which claimed the player was among a group of attackers in the incident that happened on June 5 at around 11:30 p.m.
David Gomez and his friend were on their way home from Hanlan’s Point on Toronto Island when they say they crossed paths with a group of people.
They said they found themselves in danger when the group started shouting homophobic slurs at them before attacking Gomez.
Gomez was rushed to hospital with a broken nose, fractures to his faces broken tooth and other injuries.