The Canadian Football League has fined Montreal Alouettes defensive tackle Khalif Mitchell an undisclosed amount after he made comments on Twitter denying the Holocaust occurred, the CFL announced Thursday. The Alouettes also fined him an additional undisclosed amount.
Mitchell posted a link to a video titled "The greatest lie ever told - The Holocaust" on May 8 and posted another link to a video Thursday proclaiming the terror group ISIS "is fake." He also explained why he posted the videos in replies to other users and retweeted several anti-Semitic images.
He told Canada's National Post later Thursday that he does believe the Holocaust happened.
"I believe the Holocaust happened," he said. "I believe that people died at the Holocaust. I believe that the Holocaust is an example of pure hatred, in its purest sense, on this earth, that we even know of — and that we should look into it and examine it for its authenticity, to understand how much hate could have been amassed on one people."
"His postings are disappointing and in no way reflect the opinions and values of the Montreal Alouettes Football Club," Alouettes rresident and CEO Mark Weightman said in a statement. "His postings were completely unacceptable and the Alouettes apologize to anyone who was offended by them."
Montreal has a significant Jewish population. There are 90,780 Jews in the city, the second-largest Jewish community in Canada, according to the local Jewish group Federation CJA.
Mitchell, 30, is a native of Virginia Beach, Va., and played college football at East Carolina. He spent two years on the practice squad of the San Francisco 49ers before moving to Canada. He played for the BC Lions and Toronto Argonauts before signing with the Alouettes in February. He is a two-time CFL All-Star.
In 2012, while playing for the Lions, Mitchell was fined and benched for using a racial slur on Twitter.
- Dan Gartland