Press Release

CFL Players Put their Shoulder into Men’s Health

CFL Alumni Association Partners with Canadian Men’s Health Foundation to make Football Fans as Healthy as the Players on the Field
Dad teaching son to skateboard and be active outdoors

Canadians may believe they are a fit nation, but Canadian men actually lag behind in health. In fact, more than 65% of Canadian men aged 30 – 64 are overweight or obese, almost 50% are inactive, over 40% binge drink and 26% smoke.

These lifestyle choices can lead to alarming health statistics, and the CFL Alumni Association (CFLAA) has partnered with the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation ahead of this month’s Grey Cup to raise awareness amongst their fans.

“We believe that if more men realized the consequences of these actions, and if they were given some guidance on concrete steps they can take, they might rethink some habits. The CFLAA is committed to the health of our former players, our fans, and of all Canadians,” Says Leo Ezerins, Executive Director, CFLAA.

Retired CFLer Joe Sardo walks outdoors with his sons
CFL alumni Joe Sardo shares a family man’s trick to keeping active

The Canadian Men’s Health Foundation points out that Canadian men are:

  • 40% more likely to die from cancer than women;
  • 70% more likely to die from heart disease;
  • 57% more likely to die from diabetes;
  • Four times more likely to commit suicide than women; and
  • Live an average of 9 years of their lives in extremely poor health

Wayne Hartrick, President of the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation, notes that while men may be aware they are making wrong choices, they aren’t sure how to begin living a healthier lifestyle. “We talk to so many men who want to live healthier but are torn and uncertain about how to do that. Telling someone to make drastic changes to their everyday routine can seem overwhelming. We know at the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation that you don’t need to overhaul your whole life. Small changes have big benefits.”

The Canadian Men’s Health Foundation has worked with the CFLAA on a project supported by the CFL, to inspire fans to make healthy small changes to their lives. includes personal stories and tips from some of Canada’s most renowned CFL players, including Henry Burris, Shea Emry, Davis Sanchez, Etienne Boulay, Orlando Bowen, and more.

“As men, we’re often sold the myth that it’s not masculine to seek help. This website and campaign is breaking down those barriers that men don’t need to talk about health or seek support for issues that we face. We’re human. As men, we need to encourage each other to seek help and to become healthier. We owe it to ourselves and our families,” says Shea Emry, a former CFL linebacker and two-time Grey Cup Champion who is now the Founder of Wellmen, The Men’s Adventure Club.

The website features CFL alumni’s personal stories, tips, recipes and other tools and resources that will inspire and help guide men to live healthier lives. Men can also sign up for emails filled with healthy eating and lifestyle tips. Those who visit the site and subscribe to the Weekly Health Tips newsletter, you’ll be entered to win one of 10 exclusive CFL Prize Bundles.

To speak to a representative from the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation or the CFLAA about the Don’t Change Much campaign, please contact:

Andrea Chrysanthou, Global Public Affairs
[email protected]



Canadian Men’s Health Foundation (CMHF) is a national, not for profit organization with a mission to inspire Canadian men and their families to live healthier lives. The statistics around men’s health in Canada are alarming; 70% of men’s health problems can be prevented by adopting healthy lifestyles. Learn more at, and


The Canadian Football League Alumni Association’s vision is to foster a lifelong relationship between the Canadian Football League and its alumni providing support to its community and the larger community it serves. Learn more at

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