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Kelly, Argos settle lawsuit with former strength and conditioning coach


The lawsuit brought by a former Toronto Argonaut assistant strength and conditioning coach against the team and starting quarterback Chad Kelly has been settled to the satisfaction of all parties through mediation, a source tells TSN.

No details of the settlement are known. A call to the legal representation of the former coach was not returned.

The former coach was suing the 30-year-old Kelly for $50,000 for alleged violations of the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Argos and Kelly jointly for $85,714, claiming wrongful dismissal. She was also seeking $10,000 worth of punitive damages.

The suit, which named the Argonauts for wrongful dismissal and Kelly for harassment, led to the Canadian Football League commissioning an outside investigation, which produced an 87-page report.

That report became the basis for CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie handing down a minimum nine-game suspension to Kelly in early May, requiring him to undergo assessments and counselling for reinstatement. The league has reserved the right to extend the suspension if it is not satisfied with Kelly’s commitment.

According to the source, Kelly has begun the process of participating in the mandatory counselling sessions required and is not with the team at this time.

Under the terms of the league’s collective agreement with its players, Kelly could appeal his suspension and be allowed to return to full participation with his team while waiting for an arbitration hearing, but only if he the Argos allow him to do so. Toronto opens its season at home this Sunday, with last season’s backup quarterback, Cameron Dukes, slated to start against the visiting BC Lions.

The coach, who worked for the Argos from 2018 until January 2024, originally filed the lawsuit on Feb. 21 in Ontario Superior Court in Toronto. TSN does not publish the names of alleged victims of abuse and harassment without their permission.

The former coach alleged in the lawsuit that Kelly, the league's highest-paid player and reigning Most Outstanding Player, harassed her and that the team fired her after she rejected his advances. She also alleged that the team breached the CFL violence against women policy by not submitting a critical incident report to the league's head office.

The allegations against Kelly and the Argos were not tested in court.

In a statement of defence filed in response to the lawsuit in April, Kelly denied ever making any romantic or sexual overtures at the former coach at any time and said he was not involved, directly or indirectly, in the team’s decision to fire the former coach.

In the Argonauts’ statement of defence, the club insisted that the former coach, who was not retained after the 2023 season, was on a fixed-term agreement and that it was under no obligation to continue her employment.

The team also said it had “no knowledge of any behaviour of Kelly that engaged the CFL’s policy on gender-based violence or was in breach of the Ontario Human Rights Code.”