Thursday night, during the Major Series Lacrosse “Classic” being held at the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre in Oakville the Brampton Excelsiors competed under the name and jerseys of “Owen Sound”. We would like to reassure Brampton fans and supporters that as of right now, the OLA has not approved the sale or move of the Brampton Major Excelsiors. As the Governing body of the MSL, the OLA has the authority to approve or disapprove the sale and/or move of any franchise.
In our view, having “Owen Sound” compete in the Major Series Classic is nothing more than a back handed bullying tactic. An attempt by those who want the approval pushed through to convince the public that it is finalized and there is nothing more to be done. We want to stress that this is not the case.
We cannot say for sure that the OLA will block the move, but as of right now the team is still the Brampton Major Excelsiors. Our stance is firm that until such a time as the OLA Board of Directors votes on the sale and move, the Major Excelsiors still reside in Brampton and should be competing as such.
Since the event was announced last week, the OLA has remained silent on the issue. As they are the governing body over Major Series Lacrosse and responsible for overseeing that the league follows regulations, we hope to see some sort of intervention to stop this, or at the very least an official statement on the issue. We urge our supporters to continue watching for any such statements from the OLA or from the ELLA. When a decision is made, we will notify everyone of it promptly.
The ELLA has done our research, we have reviewed statements, contracts, constitutions and sought all possible legal and lawful options. We are confident in our opinion that the sale of the Majors was carried out illegally. In April, we have presented this case to the OLA, and other relevant parties, and we hope they agree. However, for now, all sides of this debate are awaiting their vote and subsequent announcement.
In the interim we are proceeding with the understanding that the team remains the Brampton Excelsiors.
This team is part of our history. We have played, coached, volunteered and given our hearts to the Excelsiors. This is not just another team moving in and out of our city. This team is entwined in the history of Brampton and we have built families around it. No one in the ELLA is in any way opposed to a Major Series franchise being put in Owen Sound. In fact, we would be happy to see and support it, because their fans deserve it. But this is not how to make it happen. Ripping something this important away from a community with no input from the membership should not be what anyone wants.
Lastly, we want to wish all the members of the Excelsiors family competing in the Major Series Classic all the best. We hold no ill will against those who choose to play for any of the teams in this event. We want to see those athletes who have grown up in maroon and gold or come to play for Brampton later in their careers succeed to their fullest potential. Despite our qualms with the league, there is no denying that it is some of the best lacrosse in the world and we will not fault anyone for grabbing a chance to play at that level.
This fight is not over and we will keep working to keep the Major Excelsiors in Brampton, where they belong.