Sports

Winnipeg Blue Bombers release receiver after sexual assault allegation

WINNIPEG – The Winnipeg Blue Bombers released veteran receiver Jalen Saunders earlier this week after investigating an allegation of sexual assault against him.

The CFL team let Saunders go Wednesday.

The move came amid reports a 22-year-old woman has filed a formal complaint alleging Saunders pressed to enter her apartment and pressured her for sex before assaulting her despite repeated pleas for him to stop.

“On Tuesday, May 24, 2022, the WFC was made aware, via social media, of an alleged sexual assault involving one of our players, Jalen Saunders,” the Bombers said in a statement. “Immediately, our club advised the individual who came forward to notify the Winnipeg Police. At the same time, we began our internal review of the off-field incident, following the CFL policy of Violence against Women.

“After our internal review, this player was immediately released from the roster by our organization. The Winnipeg Football Club takes violence against women and sexual assault seriously, and thanks the individuals for coming forward on this.”

Winnipeg signed Saunders in April. He last played in the CFL in 2018, registering 45 catches for 739 yards and two touchdowns in nine games with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats before suffering a season-ending knee injury.

Saunders signed with Ottawa in 2020 before the CFL cancelled the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He never got on the field in 2021 after being involved in a serious car accident.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 27, 2022.

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