MADD Canada is praising the Saskatchewan Roughriders after the team pulled defensive end Charleston Hughes on Saturday.
The team removed Hughes from its active roster ahead of a game against the Calgary Stampeders after he was charged with impaired driving and failing to provide a breath sample.
Michelle Okere, regional manager for Saskatchewan with MADD Canada, said the decision from the CFL club sent a strong message about the seriousness of impaired driving.
“When it comes to impaired driving, there really is no excuse for anyone to get behind the wheel … and it’s upsetting to see anyone make that choice, but it’s especially frustrating when it’s someone who’s in the public eye and who’s looked up to and admired by fans in the community,” Okere said.
“This is something that we’ve been talking about for some time here in Saskatchewan with having the worst rates of impaired driving among the provinces in the country … it highlights the seriousness of the crime but also the fact that there are repercussions to your personal and professional life.”
Okere added that MADD is not in a position to demand or suggest anything further but recommends that all organizations have a code of conduct.
“Organizations and companies should have a code of conduct or policy in place, which helps to guide the behaviours of the people that they have working for them … and obviously, the Riders recognized this and responded,” Okere said.
“Every person needs to be responsible for their choices and they need to be responsible for their actions and make decisions that are not unlawful and that don’t put other people at risk.”
Hughes is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 31.