'I apologize for my actions and decisions': Roughriders cut Justin Cox after assault charge - Saskatchewan

The Saskatchewan Roughriders have cut star defensive back Justin Cox after Regina police charged the 24-year-old with assault causing bodily harm. 

Cox was apprehended Tuesday after an investigation into an alleged assault on a Regina woman over the weekend.

Police were called to a home on the 2200 block of MacTavish Street on Sunday. There, police say they found a 23-year-old woman who had sustained injuries consistent with a physical assault. 

The investigation is ongoing.

Cox will appear in provincial court May 4. 

In a news release on Wednesday, the team said a Canadian Football League policy condemns violence against women in all its forms.

The team said it will not comment on the case any further but "appropriate outreaches are being made to local police, support and counselling organizations."

Meanwhile, the CFL has issued a statement saying should any team try to sign Cox to a contract, the league will refuse to recognize the agreement.

"We must all do what we can to ensure the safety of women and to urge perpetrators to seek the help they need to change their behaviour and stop the violence," wrote CFL commissioner Jeffrey Orridge.  

Cox was the Roughriders' "most outstanding rookie" in 2016, and started in all 15 games he played for the team


Justin Cox was the Roughriders' "most outstanding rookie" in 2016, and started in all 15 games he played for the team. (The Canadian Press)

Cox was suspended for his last three games at Mississippi State, after police were called to a 2014 domestic dispute and found his girlfriend with head injuries. He later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of trespassing.

In 2015, the Kansas City Chiefs refused to sign him after Cox was charged with aggravated assault, burglary and trespassing during NFL tryouts.

Officials in Mississippi said yesterday a trial date for those charges has not yet been set.

Last July, Roughriders head coach Chris Jones said the team takes domestic abuse allegations involving its players seriously. That day, Jones was addressing questions about Greg Hardy, a U.S. player with a background of allegations of domestic violence.

He was also questioned about Cox.

Asked whether the team looks at such things when it acquires players, Jones said it does.

"Absolutely we look at it," Jones told reporters on July 26, 2016. "I have known some people who have known Justin Cox since high school and had a lot of thorough investigation done on his background."

Jones said he was satisfied with the results of that scrutiny and reiterated that the team takes domestic assault charges and convictions seriously.

"Quite honestly, you wouldn't have a league if all the guys who had some type of past transgression in high school or junior college or college [weren't allowed to play]," he said. "You wouldn't have a CFL."

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