After a surprising Grey Cup victory against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Sunday, the Montreal Alouettes made headlines both for their play on the field and their comments after the game.
The most notable from the latter category came from Montreal defensive back Marc-Antoine Dequoy, who delivered a passionate speech in an interview with RDS in which he called out English-speaking media and the CFL at large.
“They never believed in us, man. You checked everywhere; it was written in English. You checked TSN; it was written ‘Toronto vs. Winnipeg,’” he said after the Als’ surprising victory.
“Keep your English because we’re taking the Cup,” the 29-year-old added. “We’re going to bring it back to Montreal, back to Quebec!”
It didn’t take long for Dequoy’s firey comments to go viral among the Alouettes fan base and Canadian football community soon after.
Touching down in Quebec on Monday, the newly crowned Grey Cup champions were greeted by reporters as they deboarded the plane. Unsurprisingly, many wanted to hear from Dequoy, who elaborated on his postgame comments.
“The CFL is bilingual… and we just felt that the French Canadian was not respected, the French language was not respected,” he said on Monday morning before citing a list of reasons for the alleged disrespect.
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“When we arrived at the stadium, everything was English, there was no French,” the 29-year-old explained.
He also claimed that the TV guide for TSN’s broadcast of the championship game was accidentally listed as “Toronto vs Winnipeg” — something that was later confirmed by multiple X users.
The television programmation already posted Toronto as in the final instead of Alouettes. That's one part of what M-A Dequoy talk. The other is the prominent english only signs during semi-final and final.
If Canada wants to keep us in Canada, they need to better respect french. pic.twitter.com/bvsFptfW0g
— QcLibreFrançais⚜️ (@QcLibreFrancais) November 20, 2023
And speaking of Toronto, Dequoy said he was not impressed with the Argonauts’ lack of accommodation for French speakers either, commenting on the team’s choice to only perform the national anthem in English.
“When we played Toronto for the Eastern Final, the national anthem was in English. I just felt disrespected for me and for my province and my heritage.”
As for telling anglophones they can “keep [their] English,” the Montreal native made it clear that he did not mean to attack English-speaking partisans, admitting that anglophones make up a large part of the Alouettes’ fan base, as per TSN’s Kenzie Lalonde.
“I speak English every day of my life. Football is anglophone,” Dequoy said. “I think anyone who knows me knows very well that there was no malice to it.”
While he and his teammates recover from a hard-fought game in Hamilton, Dequoy and the Alouettes will come face-to-face with their fans on Wednesday when the championship parade is held in downtown Montreal.