CFL player fined for tweets that said Holocaust didn’t happen

A CFL player was fined and apologized on Friday for making inappropriate tweets.

Montreal Alouettes defensive lineman Khalif Mitchell took to Twitter and made inappropriate statements, including linking to a Holocaust denial video.

Mitchell, a defensive tackle who previously spent two years on the San Francisco 49ers’ practice squad, posted a link to a video titled "The greatest lie ever told — The Holocaust" on May 8.

The CFL Playes’ Association and B’nai Brith Canada, a Jewish human-rights organization, were both part of the apology.

"I wholeheartedly apologize to all those who I know I let down by posting those videos, especially those who look up to me as a professional athlete," Mitchell said. "I fell into a trap by watching that video and I hope others can learn from my very public mistake.

"This is a learning moment for me."

"I believe the Holocaust happened," Mitchell told the National Post. "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."

Mitchell agreed to work with B’nai Brith to "educate myself about this and other human-rights matters."

"There is absolutely no place in our league for commentary used to divide or disparage others along the lines of sex, race, religion or sexual orientation," CFL commissioner Jeffrey Orridge said in a statement.  

Added team president Mark Weightman: "His postings were completely unacceptable and the Alouettes apologize to anyone who was offended by them."

The Virginia Beach, Va., native had talks with B’nai Brith’s Michael Mostyn as well as with the CFL, the CFLPA and the Alouettes after news broke Thursday of a series of posts on Twitter dealing with Israel, including one with a link to a video called "The Greatest Lie Ever Told, the Holocaust."

"I have come to see that he is a very genuine individual who truly did not comprehend the deceptive nature of this vile video," Mostyn said.

CFLPA president Scott Flory added: "We hope that people will accept his apology and we support him on his journey to become a positive force."

Mitchell was fined undisclosed amounts by the CFL and the Alouettes for violating the league’s social media policy. The league fine will be donated to a charity of the player’s choice.