Thursday, February 18, 2016

Fines, Suspensions Arise From Scuffle Between A's and Express

Ever since David Magley took the post of commissioner of the NBL Canada heading into its fifth season, the league has gotten more respect than ever. While still in the rebuilding stages from last season's fiasco, things have definitely been improving since then.

However, a scuffle between Kirk Williams Jr. of the Windsor Express and Flenard Whitfield of the Orangeville A's last week didn't do anything to help the NBL's cause. The two players engaged in the altercation after attempting to grab a rebound off a missed free throw from Justin Moss.

Williams initially pulled at Whitfield's wrist, and the two players exchanged words before it became physical, with swipes and pushes. Before it could get any worse, they were separated by players and referees. Both players were ejected from the game, and according to Morris Dalla Costa of The London Free Press, Whitfield kicked a few chairs on his way out. The scuffle can be seen below on the live stream.

But with the new rules placed by the NBL Canada before the start of the fifth season regarding violence, ejection would not be the end of it. On Tuesday, Williams was fined and slapped with a three-game suspension, without pay, and Whitfield was also hit with a fine.

Magley confirmed through social media on Wednesday that all three referees at the game and the Express executive agreed that Williams threw a punch (which was not visible on the live stream). He also reaffirmed that every NBL Canada player was disciplined before the season to avoid violence. 

Whitfield reacts after being ejected from the game (Photo: Windsor Star)