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Stampeders' Lewis fined for comments made on Twitter

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The Canadian Press
11/14/2012 9:49:19 PM
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CALGARY -- Calgary Stampeders slot back Nik Lewis has a reputation for stirring the pot.

Both his football team and the Canadian Football League say he crossed the line with his comment on Twitter.

The CFL fined Lewis an undisclosed amount Wednesday for violating the league's social media policy.

On Monday, Lewis tweeted: "I just bought OJ's gloves on eBay. Now all I need is a white girl named Nicole." He added the hashtag .MaybeALittleToFar.

The reference was to the 1995 murder trial of former NFL player O.J. Simpson, who was asked in the courtroom to put on leather gloves found at the crime scene.

Simpson was acquitted in the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, but he lost a civil court case against him for their wrongful deaths.

The Stampeders head to Vancouver later this week to face the B.C. Lions in Sunday's West final. The victor advances to the Grey Cup in Toronto on Nov. 25.

Coach and general manager John Hufnagel told Lewis and the rest of the Stampeders not to tweet until the CFL season is over.

"Let's call it a request," Hufnagel said. "I've asked them not to do it before the season ends. We'll see how that goes.

"I will say this organization is not proud of what occurred. It's something we as an organization do not condone and need to take care of."

Lewis can be an egotist, but a colourful one who isn't afraid to take verbal shots at opposing teams. Those qualities draw media like magnets, but this comment on social media landed him in hot water with the Stampeders and the CFL.

"I tried to use my comedic rights and I guess I went a little too far," was Lewis's explanation Wednesday.

"I've said a lot of things that's walking that line. I told (Hufnagel) I'll stay away from the line out or respect to him, respect to our ownership and the city of Calgary. I'll just stay away from that line a little bit more.

"In the off-season, I'm going to tweet. I'll be smarter about what I tweet and I guess I'm not as funny as I thought I was."

Lewis, 30, says he didn't know how much money he would be fined. The Stampeders would have fined him if the CFL hadn't, said Hufnagel.

The CFL's social media policy is: "If a player, team employee or league employee uses social media ... in a manner that may bring the CFL into disrepute, including posts that condone harassment, discrimination or violence ... they will be subject to discipline from the commissioner's office."

The league fined B.C. Lions defensive tackle Khalif Mitchell last month for tweeting a disparaging reference to people of Chinese descent.

Stampeder running back Jon Cornish has a Twitter account. The CFL's rushing leader didn't take issue with Hufnagel's call for a moratorium on tweets until season's end.

"I think it's fine," the CFL's rushing leader said. "Twitter is a distraction in the end. It's something you can use to pass time if you're bored or something.

"I'm still struggling to find my own niche on Twitter because as something to exchange information, I don't think it's ideal. One hundred and forty characters leaves too much without being said. Quite often, that's what gets people in trouble."

It was Calgary's second bout of controversy since the Stamps edged the Saskatchewan Roughriders 36-30 in a semifinal thriller on Sunday night.

Quarterback Drew Tate sparked concerns he'd suffered a concussion when he said following the game "I got my bell rung. I don't remember the first half."

When the team revealed the following day their quarterback had passed concussion tests "with flying colours," Tate issued a statement saying he couldn't remember the first half because he wanted to forget it.

Tate was on the field, but didn't take any snaps during practice Wednesday because of a bruised forearm, according to Hufnagel.

"That was X-rayed yesterday. It's negative," the coach said. "It was still sore today, so he didn't throw today.

"Drew should be back on the field tomorrow."

Nik Lewis (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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