Charges dropped, Tommie Campbell still convicted in court of public opinion

Tommie Campbell knew the way he was being portrayed this off-season, and how it looked for the Calgary Stampeders.

For that, he’s sorry. But he won’t be apologizing for returning to Canada and the CFL now that he’s put drug trafficking charges behind him.

At first glance, the story sounded like the defensive back was guilty of something nefarious. Campbell ran away from police when they visited his mother’s house in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, this past January, and then a Stampeders bag containing drugs and money was found.

Of course, the bag had to be Campbell’s, as he is the only Stampeders player from the area, and in the court of public opinion, he was a drug trafficker.

Campbell turned himself into police, followed procedures and was eventually cleared of all charges.

Still, in said court of public opinion, there will be those who will paint him with the ‘guilty’ brush regardless of whether he was cleared of wrongdoing, and that simply isn’t fair.

The Stamps welcomed the 29-year-old to training camp on Sunday, a week late from the start of the spring session because paperwork was taking time to process.

Campbell couldn’t be more thankful that the Stamps stood by him during the entire ordeal. They waited to see if he was guilty in the eyes of the courts, and now that he was not, they are getting their all-star corner back.

“I wanted my name to be cleared obviously, but I wanted people to understand that what you read and what you heard, those things aren’t true about me,” Campbell said on Sunday. “I’m a very humble guy and I’m ready to win a championship.

“I’m just thankful everything worked out. I appreciate the organization for standing behind me. I take full responsibility for putting myself in a bad situation. I’m ecstatic to be here. For all my teammates who have shown love and support, I thank them.

“I can’t get too down on myself. I have to continue to live life. I have to trust in the court system, the law system.”

The Saskatchewan Roughriders went through a legal situation with one of their players this off-season, but the circumstances are quite different from Campbell’s. Justin Cox was charged with domestic abuse, and the Riders released him immediately. Cox was acquitted in Regina, but he still faces separate charges in the U.S.

Cox has a history of issues, and he will go on trial this summer for an incident in 2015 that led to his release from the Kansas City Chiefs.

Campbell simply doesn’t have the same reputation, and actually his story is inspiring. He returned to college after a two-year stint working at the Pittsburgh International Airport, and eventually made himself a viable pro player.

Now the Stamps and Campbell himself are ready to move on and focus on football. Although he’s hampered by a hamstring injury right now — suffered while racing a vehicle, something he claims is a regular training thing — Campbell can’t wait to make amends for the 2016 Grey Cup loss in Toronto.

The goal is to bring himself and the organization a championship, something that would be reward for sticking with him when others would have buried him.

“You are known by how you treat people,” Campbell said. “I was here the whole season last year. I communicated with them the whole time. They gave me an outline of how everything was.

“They were still behind him. If things didn’t go so good, then I wouldn’t be here and that’s fair enough. That’s the only thing I can be thankful for. I put all of it behind me.”

Ian Busby

Ian Busby

Ian Busby has covered the Stampeders and the CFL since 2003, with eight years as a beat reporter. He is now a producer at Breakfast Television.
Ian Busby
Ian Busby
About Ian Busby (175 Articles)
Ian Busby has covered the Stampeders and the CFL since 2003, with eight years as a beat reporter. He is now a producer at Breakfast Television.

75 Comments on Charges dropped, Tommie Campbell still convicted in court of public opinion

  1. mrnehnehincognito // June 5, 2017 at 11:58 am //

    They will want him to hang out to dry just like they do Henry Burris, BLM, Nick Lewis, Jon Cornish. They can spew we will thrive.

  2. The court of public opinion is particularly ruthless and biased. I’ll wish no ill will on anyone, hope he has a good year, except when playing my Riders!

  3. Riders13 // June 5, 2017 at 12:02 pm //

    What a joke. Surprised stampy hasn’t commented already as he’s jumped all over Cox and Young. Innocent is innocent but the optics sure aren’t very good. Must’ve been the keystone cops bumbling that investigation lol.

    • mrnehnehincognito // June 5, 2017 at 12:46 pm //

      Your are blinded by hatred and jealousy. We don’t know the facts. All you guys do is jump on other teams instead of accepting the riders shortcomings. Campbell has no past history and doesn’t manipulate and harm vulnerable people. Campbell is pure again. Consider Jones signed Cox while he was already facing charges makes this a night and day comparison.
      If it’s proven Campbell beat this on a technicality or if there is a scent of him doing this again I will change my opinion. You can hang him in the court of riderville if you want but as far as society the stamps AND THE CFL are concerned his name is cleared.

      • Riders13 // June 5, 2017 at 1:11 pm //

        You are one deluded, hypocritical individual…please seek help.

        • Judge Jones // June 5, 2017 at 1:41 pm //

          I doesn’t say much about your argument when you have to get personal

          • Riders13 // June 5, 2017 at 1:54 pm //

            Good point Judge Jones. Stumpy should be ashamed of himself for saying I’m full of hatred and jealousy. I won’t hold a grudge though lol.

        • George Porge // June 6, 2017 at 1:44 pm //

          “If it’s proven Campbell beat this on a technicality”

          Campbell wasn’t acquitted. His case never even made it to trial. It’s pretty safe to say that this was no technicality.

      • You are pathetic and the biggest hypocrite going. Do you know everyone just laughs at you?

  4. Did Campbell get his Stampeder’s Bag back or is the team giving him a new one?

    • mrnehnehincognito // June 5, 2017 at 1:32 pm //

      IMO that bag was from a ford dealership handed out during a promotional sale. hundreds probably handed out

      • Riders13 // June 5, 2017 at 1:39 pm //

        I agree. There were probably hundreds of people from Aliquippa, Pennsylvania at that dealership during that promotion.

      • LOL…GOOOOOOD one. A Calgary Ford dealer was having a promotion and someone from Penn just happened to be there or made the trip across the continent to buy a car on sale and to get a free stampeder bag full of cash and drugs. Sure. sound reasonable. Excuse me gotta gooo now laffffing toooo har to typ ahaha

  5. This is such a heartwarming story, this shy boy just wants to forget this ever happened. I was just chasing a rabbit, and the rabbit just droped this stampeder bag full of drugs and money.

  6. dangnabbit // June 5, 2017 at 1:01 pm //

    Good on the organisation. Due process is a protection only afforded by the legal system, so it is praiseworthy when the employer voluntarily steps in to match that protection.

  7. All you Rider fans who defended Cox, a 3 time offender who still faces charges in the USA, which he may not have faced if he was here on s visa playing for a CFL club, until much later, should have no problem defending Campbell. Proven innocent folks. That should be the same for any player not just Riders. That’s ignoring the fact that the Cox case is not remotely the same as this one. But if you want to keep throwing this in Stampland’s face it just confirms that everything’s OK if it’s the Riders. Time to shut up about Campbell. He’s innocent – that’s been yor argument for Cox. Nothing more to say on this.

    • Riders13 // June 5, 2017 at 1:13 pm //

      Who are you…the blog police lol

    • Agreed. My laughing is at neh neh trying so hard to defend a man not convicted. Why does he feel the need to do so. LOVED his explanation of the stampeder bag full of cash and drugs. Priceless,

      • George Porge // June 6, 2017 at 1:49 pm //

        “LOVED his explanation of the stampeder bag full of cash and drugs. Priceless”

        I know right? Like, the police had a search warrant. Campbell ran *WITH* the bag. From the team on which HE was a player. With drugs and money IN THE BAG. All that iron-clad evidence.

        The DA must have fallen for Campbell’s sob story to just throw out the case like they did. Couldn’t possibly be because other evidence came to light later that made the DA just say “aww phukit”.

    • E W, I recall seeing maybe 2 or 3 posts defending Cox out of many many Rider fans that post here. Actually we are shaking our head that either of them were CFL players and it’s the Troll that brings this crap on himself. Believe me he has it coming.

  8. JoeyWalters // June 5, 2017 at 1:07 pm //

    “Of course, the bag had to be Campbell’s, as he is the only Stampeders player from the area.”

    The ‘area’ in this case being his mom’s house.

    • Riders13 // June 5, 2017 at 1:12 pm //

      Lol…innocent until proven guilty. That could’ve been anyone’s back pack. Riiigghhht

      • mrnehnehincognito // June 5, 2017 at 1:35 pm //

        so what’s the full story? Tell us rider13, enlighten us. You’re Matlack

      • Judge Jones // June 5, 2017 at 1:52 pm //

        No but it could have been anyone else’s drugs. A bit of a difference between finding a bag after the fact and seeing some idiot beat his girlfriend. If Cox would not have been required to face other charges of assault and robbery he might have been good to go.

        • Ladd Law // June 5, 2017 at 2:32 pm //

          Easy on the hypocrisy . . . read the reports about Cox, seems his girlfriend may have stretched the truth a bit. Not defending him. Just reminding you that a judge stated there was not enough evidence, no different than the Campbell story.

          • mrnehnehincognito // June 5, 2017 at 4:14 pm //

            that just clears him on ONE of his charges.He still has another. You guys keep forgetting that

          • George Porge // June 6, 2017 at 1:51 pm //

            “Just reminding you that a judge stated there was not enough evidence, no different than the Campbell story.”

            Except in the Campbell story, the case didn’t even get trial. It was dropped by the prosecution. Very big difference between a judge saying “you didn’t prove your case” and the prosecution saying “we have no case.”

  9. mrnehnehincognito // June 5, 2017 at 1:37 pm //

    Could it possibly ..just possibly be he was protecting someone else? A friend? a relative?

    • JoeyWalters // June 5, 2017 at 2:04 pm //

      He ran out the back door when the cops came. How was that protecting someone?

      Cox is worse, don’t get me wrong, but don’t pretend this is just a crazy mixup and Campbell is ‘pure’

      • mrnehnehincognito // June 5, 2017 at 2:41 pm //

        Because he knew the cops were looking for drugs and his bag had them in it. He was spooked,scared so he ran. A real criminal would know the cops can’t come in the house without a warrant and wouldn’t have panicked like Campbell. JUST A POSSIBILITY.TRUTH IS WHO REALLY KNOWS!

        • JoeyWalters // June 5, 2017 at 2:46 pm //

          Holy crap.

          I’m a Rider fan. I can admit that Cox is a bad dude who shouldn’t be given a third or fourth chance.

          You’re a stamps fan. You’re willing to let anything slide by one of your guys.

          Good deal.

          • mrnehnehincognito // June 5, 2017 at 4:16 pm //

            you are blinded by the light

          • George Porge // June 6, 2017 at 1:54 pm //

            We are Stamps fans. We have the ability to think critically about things and understand differences that lie in the details.

            You’re a Rider fan. You can only grasp the concept of “good guy” or “bad guy” based on very simple definitions.

        • The Iceman // June 5, 2017 at 6:21 pm //

          Police obtained a search warrant for the house, the Beaver County Times reported, but as they arrived at the residence Monday night, Campbell attempted to flee by jumping over a fence in the backyard while carrying a backpack.

      • EXACTLY !!!

    • That’s possible. That would make him an accessory, if true.

    • Protecting someone else would make him an accessorie and that’s a felony too.

  10. mrnehnehincognito // June 5, 2017 at 1:52 pm //

    For those who haven’t already seen this I encourage you to go onto riderville forums. A poll was taken after the Cox acquittal asking if the riders should take him back. Over 80% said yes!
    How can you be ok with that but jump on the stamps for taking back a player acquitted of a less serious charge and no history of his alleged crime?
    Sounds to me like you are all being hypocritical and opportunistic as you love jumping on the team you wish you had at any chance

    • Judge Jones // June 5, 2017 at 2:04 pm //

      To be fair, when they take a poll on their sites those who responds are those would would have gone to Jonestown. If you were to take a poll in the communities I would suspect it would be much different. Their take would probably be “Jones, you are on the clock”.

    • How can you say drug TRAFFICKING is less serious?

    • You really go onto Riderville forums? Actually, I’m not that surprised. Troll!

      • mrnehnehincognito // June 6, 2017 at 10:27 am //

        Last I checked I was free to go to any site on the internet with out your permission Rex. But in case I’m wrong I’ll ask. REX IS IT OK IF I GO ONTO RIDERVILE?

        FYI. The real Troll is he who accuses others the the deed

  11. Riders13 // June 5, 2017 at 2:02 pm //

    You’re right, Tommie Campbell has done nothing wrong in the eyes of the law. And I wanted Justin Cox back in Rider green as he too was not found guilty. However, I wasn’t aware that one of the reasons he hadn’t been convicted of the 3rd charge was because it hasn’t gone to court yet. So far he hasn’t been convicted of DV but in the court of public opinion he sure looks like a guilty repeat offender. For the good of the Riders, Jones made the right call by “going in a different direction.” Too bad Dickey and Huffer can’t keep up with Jones’s example.

    • Judge Jones // June 5, 2017 at 2:11 pm //

      Are you serious about that comment. I would like to think people even with nominal education would know the difference.

    • mrnehnehincognito // June 5, 2017 at 2:24 pm //

      So you are back tracking rider13?
      You can’t have it both ways and now say ” JONES WAS RIGHT TO RELEASE HIM” when you clearly were in favor of him coming back

  12. Riders13 // June 5, 2017 at 2:43 pm //

    Of course I can have it both ways. I said in my post above I originally wanted Cox back with the Riders and have since changed my mind despite no convictions of DV. The Riders are going to have a challenging enough season without the Justin Cox associated distractions. What’s your point?

    • mrnehnehincognito // June 5, 2017 at 2:53 pm //

      no you can’t because it can be argued you are only changing your mind so you can validate an argument against my point

      • Riders13 // June 5, 2017 at 3:06 pm //

        Are you so obtuse that you didn’t notice I agreed with you? ie “You’re right, Tommie Campbell has done nothing wrong in the eyes of the law.” What Dickey and Huffer do is there business…like most Calgarians, I honestly don’t care about the stamps.

  13. Riders13 // June 5, 2017 at 2:44 pm //

    Man, I can’t wait until week 5 when the Riders go into cowtown and lay the boots to the stamps.

  14. Scottsask // June 5, 2017 at 2:56 pm //

    They are both dirtbags that should not be in the league. Period.

    • mrnehnehincognito // June 5, 2017 at 4:20 pm //

      Not fair for you to call Campbell this. You don’t know the facts

      • George Porge // June 6, 2017 at 1:56 pm //

        Actually, even worse, we know the facts. Despite the facts certain Rider fans are still holding their obtuse views. It’s one thing to be ignorant. It’s another to be willfully ignorant.

  15. mrnehnehincognito // June 5, 2017 at 4:50 pm //

    Lets remember. Before you guys line up to stone us stamps fans, its the riders who have now had the league intervene TWICE in the last year over rider player transactions. That cannot be dismissed

  16. The presumption of innocence and the inadmissibility of similar fact evidence have involved in the criminal justice system over hundreds of years. Both Cox and Campbell should have the benefit of them. The league got the Cox case wrong. people who see a distinction in the two cases are either confused or hypocritical. Let the criminal justice system sort these matters out. The other approach is to listen to the person who shouts the loudest in the mob

    • George Porge // June 6, 2017 at 2:14 pm //

      “The presumption of innocence and the inadmissibility of similar fact evidence have involved in the criminal justice system over hundreds of years. Both Cox and Campbell should have the benefit of them.”

      And they both did. Hence the reason why neither of them are behind bars right now. The CFL is not the criminal justice system, and proof beyond a reasonable doubt is setting the bar a tad too-high when it comes to deciding who should be allowed to work in your organization.

      “people who see a distinction in the two cases are either confused or hypocritical.”

      There is a distinction in the two cases. A huge, gaping distinction. Recognizing that distinction isn’t hypocritical, it is actually very important.

      Jian Ghomeshi was also acquitted of his serious crime. Nelson Mandela, on the other hand, spent decades in jail. Which one would you rather be the face of your organization?

  17. The league got it right on Cox – 3 times, 3 different women & another charge to answer to. This is not a second chance deal. Innocent or not, the reason Jones got him last year was he was to keep his nose clean, not we don’t care how often you go to court as long as yo’re found “innocent”. Really Cox fans, give your heads a shake. Bottom line – he’s out of the CFL. Deal with it.

  18. I wonder if the stamps would’ve stood behind him and brought him back if he hadn’t been a CFL all star last year.

    • mrnehnehincognito // June 6, 2017 at 10:32 am //

      The stamps didn’t “Stand behind him” they waited to see how the situation played out.
      All star indeed, so was our other rookie corner. How do the stamps do it!! Oh and it wasn’t John Murphy either! How about that? Speaking of Murphy has he found you 2 all star corners yet you think??

    • George Porge // June 6, 2017 at 1:58 pm //

      Probably not, but the criminal charges are beside the point. It is pretty hard for any non-star to even make the Stamps roster.

  19. Tommie ran from the police just cause he panicked for some reason. The Stamps bag containing drugs and cash he was humping over mommas back yard is irrelevant.

    Innocent, case closed.

  20. justforkicks // June 5, 2017 at 9:41 pm //

    according to sporting news:
    “He apparently dropped the backpack, and police said it contained individually wrapped bags of crack cocaine and bundles of cash. A search of the home revealed more cocaine, in addition to scales and other drug paraphernalia, police said.”
    Obviously someone in the family was into drugs and this was definitely not a soon to be regulated drug like weed as mentioned in previous article comments. Better throw momma in jail I guess. Or did the person that threw that bag at Tommy as he was running away turn back and hide his “stuff” in the house. I bet that’s what happened!
    For the record I don’t think Cox should be allowed back either!

  21. 180 grams of crack cocaine and $3000 in cash in the Stamps bag he was running with. Could happen to anyone, doesn’t mean anything.
    Model citizen.

  22. mrnehnehincognito // June 5, 2017 at 10:26 pm //

    Well rider fans you can talk and speculate all you want about the happening that night, Fact is he’s back and the league isn’t interfering like with Cox or Hardy,
    Cox out Campbell in
    Deal with it

    • Ladd Law // June 9, 2017 at 4:03 pm //

      Hopefully Campbell shares his product with the rest of the Stumps and gives them an excuse for being the best regular season team ever and biggest Grey Cup choke to go with it.

  23. Philski // June 6, 2017 at 4:51 am //

    Hamstring injury sustained by running away from too many cops…loser.

  24. George Porge // June 6, 2017 at 1:41 pm //

    I’m amazed at how many people here fail to actually grasp how incredibly different Cox and Campbell’s cases really are.

    On the one hand you have a player accused multiple times of violent offenses. In his last case, he was acquitted because the judge didn’t think that his guilt was proven beyond a reasonable doubt. He is facing the same charges south of the border. Again.

    On the other hand, you have a player who has no known criminal past who was accused of a serious crime. Based on the initial allegations we saw in the papers at the time of his arrest, the evidence against him is overwhelming. Despite that, the prosecutor drops the case before it even gets to trial. Even charges of resisting law enforcement were dropped.

    As I said in a previous post (which, for some reason, is still awaiting moderation), prosecutors don’t just drop charges – especially serious drug trafficking charges – unless there really is a serious problem with their case.

    • mrnehnehincognito // June 6, 2017 at 2:24 pm //

      Good point. Rider fans know this they just want to ignore it so they can shout and scream

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