From QB to cop: Ex-CFLer Brandon Bridge hopes to vary notion of police

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As a Canadian quarterback, Brandon Bridge helped change a CFL rule.

The 28-year-old lobbied for a rule change governing the ratio of Canadians and Americans enjoying in a recreation. The concept was to make it simpler for groups to start out a Canadian quarterback.

Now Bridge, who’s Black, hopes to assist change how police are perceived, particularly by minorities. The quarterback, who spent 5 years enjoying within the CFL with Montreal, Saskatchewan, Toronto and B.C., is presently attending the Ontario Police College with the aim of changing into an officer with the Peel Regional Police.

“The badge is tarnished and I’m going to make a change,” stated Bridge, who was born in Toronto and raised in Mississauga, Ont.

“I’m going to protect the Black brothers and sisters, and every other colour. When you show up to a call as a cop, a lot of people are scared [and] feel like they’re in danger. I want to change that stereotype.”

Police throughout North America have come underneath scrutiny following a number of killings by officers. The deaths of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Ky., and Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta by the hands of police ignited protests all through the United States.

In Canada, kinfolk of a 62-year-old man who died in a police-involved taking pictures in Mississauga are asking for a public inquiry, whereas the taking pictures deaths of two Indigenous individuals in New Brunswick have led to accusations of racism inside the RCMP.

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Bridge says there are good law enforcement officials.

“I want to change mindsets and for people to trust, not just Black cops, but officers in general,” he stated. “There are a lot of good [police]. I have a lot of respect for the men and women who do the service.

“I really feel policing, it is a job the place you possibly can’t have any dangerous apples. People are calling a police officer as a result of [they] are actually their final hope. But if that final hope remains to be unfavourable, then who else can [they] flip to? The [police] are supposed to show as much as assist a scenario and never trigger extra hurt.”

Bridge says he understands the calls to defund the police and instead spend the money on mental health services and social service programs.

“I do not see why you wish to preserve investing into one thing that is supplying you with unfavourable outcomes,” he said. “I do not blame them for that.”

‘It begins by one’

As he did in the CFL, Bridge believes one person can make an impact on policing. He wrote about his decision to leave football for the police force and his experience with racism on Monday.

“It begins by one,” he said. “Plenty of the motion begins off with one mindset after which it simply grows. I’m not the primary one however I positively wish to take it additional than what’s now.”

Police forces want variety to “give children hope,” stated Bridge.

“If you are seeing the identical specific race or color in a sure job, you type of [see] what’s taking place.”

Growing up, Bridge doesn’t remember facing any racism that “caught in [his] thoughts.” He first encountered discrimination while attending the University of South Alabama, but being a football player “you have been handled as royalty.”

Bridge dressed for 69 CFL games, six as a starter. He completed 225 of 344 passes for 2,679 yards, 14 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He also had 71 carries for 325 yards and four scores.

He split last season between Montreal and B.C., but became frustrated with football when it appeared teams preferred signing American QBs to their Canadian counterparts.

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Bridge became interested in policing while talking to officers at charity events.

“I’d hear what they needed to do, their each day lives,” he said. “I did not wish to sit at a desk. I did not wish to be a soccer coach.”

On the field, a quarterback needs to be calm and show leadership. Bridge believes the same is true for a police officer.

“You cannot have a weak thoughts,” he said. “You should be mentally robust.

“You have to be a leader. If you see a quarterback on a game-winning drive, everyone’s calm and collected. You’ve got have that swagger. You’ve got to have that leadership confidence as a cop and as a quarterback.”

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