In the middle of celebrating his Grey Cup win, Montreal Alouettes defensive back Marc-Antoine Dequoy decided to throw some shots at the CFL and the media's coverage of the big game.
After shocking Canadian football fans everywhere with an unlikely postseason run and Grey Cup victory at Tim Horton’s Field in Hamilton on Sunday — capped off by a last-second touchdown to earn the championship with a 28-24 win — Dequoy was interviewed by RDS, the Francophone arm of popular sports network TSN.
During the fiery interview, Dequoy went in on what he felt was a lack of French respect during the game and in the days leading up to it.
The clip begins with Dequoy pointing around Tim Horton’s Field and showing all the signs only in English as the neutral site for the Grey Cup did not include French on any signage despite the only team from the country's only French province playing in the game. He also mentioned how the broadcast listing originally had the Argonauts and the Blue Bombers facing off — the presumed final before the playoffs began — and took that as another jab at his team.
Dequoy went further, saying how no one expected them to be there, as he cited the CFL’s preseason power rankings putting Montreal at the very bottom of the league. And now they sit on top, and will take the Cup back home to Montreal against the wishes of the eight other fan bases.
Marc-Antoine Dequoy's speech for the ages (TRANSLATED TO ENGLISH) pic.twitter.com/1zmmesLLmw
— HFTV (@HFTVSports) November 20, 2023
On Monday, Dequoy clarified the meaning behind his emotional post-game rant, saying he meant no disrespect toward English-speakers with his comments:
#WATCH: "I just felt that the French language was not respected and it's nothing against the English," said Montreal Alouettes player and now Grey Cup champ, Marc-Antoine Dequoy, on his post-win interview yelling "Keep your English".
READ: https://t.co/zCrmR2SXxK pic.twitter.com/b8gMFfK2rq
— CityNews Montreal (@CityNewsMTL) November 20, 2023
The Alouettes are on the rise. It's the franchise’s first championship since 2010, which much taste that much sweeter after an uneasy couple of years. The organization’s ownership was taken over by the CFL in 2019, got a new ownership group that lasted just over two years, had to be handled by the league once again, and then finally was picked up by Quebec businessman and former politician Pierre Karl Péladeau.
It's now easy to see how this win means more and why that French representation the Als DB is referring to here is so important. We’ll have to wait to find out if the league took anything actionable away from Dequoy's words.