|No. -- Free Agent|
Khalif Mitchell at the 49ers Family Day 2009
|Born:||April 7, 1985|
Virginia Beach, Virginia
|Height||6 ft 5 in (196 cm)|
|Weight||316 lb (143 kg)|
|2009–2010||San Francisco 49ers*|
|2017||Sioux Falls Storm|
|*Offseason and/or practice squad member only|
|Career highlights and awards|
|CFL All-Star||2011, 2013|
|CFL East All-Star||2013|
|CFL West All-Star||2011|
|Awards||Honorable Mention, All-Conference USA|
Khalif Quadree Mitchell (born April 7, 1985) is a professional Canadian football and American Football defensive tackle who is currently a free agent. He has played for the B.C. Lions, Toronto Argonauts in the CFL and San Francisco 49ers in the NFL. In 2011, he won a Grey Cup with the BC Lions. He was signed by the San Francisco 49ers as an undrafted free agent in 2009 and released in 2010.
San Francisco 49ers
After going undrafted in the 2009 NFL Draft, Mitchell was signed by the San Francisco 49ers as an undrafted free agent on May 1, 2009. He was waived on September 5, and subsequently signed to the practice squad on September 6. He was released from the practice squad on September 8 and later re-signed to the practice squad on October 13. He was released in early September 2010.
Mitchell was signed by the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League on September 21, 2010. He was added to the team's 46-man playing roster as a nose tackle, and activated to the team's 42-man game day roster against the Calgary Stampeders for September 25. With limited playing time in the 2010 CFL season Mitchell only recorded 6 tackles. In Mitchell's second year in the league he earned 2011 CFL All-Star honors with 33 tackles and 6 sacks. In 2011, he won the 99th Grey Cup while playing for the Lions. He re-signed with the BC Lions on January 16, 2012.
Mitchell was suspended by the CFL on July 23, 2012, for two games without pay after he violently hyperextended the arm of Edmonton Eskimos offensive lineman Simeon Rottier. After another game, the league also fined him an unspecified amount for making a number of throat-slashing gestures.
Mitchell caused a controversy for what were understood as racist remarks offensive to people of Chinese descent that he made on Twitter regarding the 2012 US Presidential election debate between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. Michell was suspended for one game for his remarks, and fined an undisclosed amount of money. His problems started when he tweeted "My Teamate said who I think Won the debate. I said the American Ppl. Cause if they watched carefully BOTH OF THEM Hide Money with the Chinks". He later explained "So I Never knew "Chink" was racist. I def. meant no harm. I was referring to Obama & Romney putting their personal trust in Chinese Banks." While there was controversy surrounding the racial slur, Mitchell has been seen with Chinese fans, taking pictures, signing autographs and is currently being represented by a person of Chinese descent.
On April 2, 2013, the BC Lions traded Mitchell to the Toronto Argonauts for defensive end Adrian Awasom and the rights to an unnamed negotiation list player. Not long after the trade Mitchell began voicing his displeasure with being traded to Toronto. He announced that he would not be attending the Argonauts training camp scheduled to begin on June 1, 2013. Mitchell wanted to be traded to Calgary or Edmonton, or have the trade between the Lions and Argos reversed and have the Lions release him. His future with the Argos was surrounded in uncertainty.
Mitchell changed his mind and was present for mandatory training camp at the start of June 2013. TSN sports reporter Farhan Lalji reported that Mitchell agreed to play the 2013 season with the Argos, under the condition that he be released following the season to pursue employment in the NFL.
Mitchell for the season played in 16 games, recording 32 tackles, five sacks (team high for the season) and one fumble recovery. He was named a CFL East All-Star and a CFL All-Star. On March 10, 2014, Mitchell was released by the Argos.
Mitchell was offered a deal with an NFL franchise but unfortunately could not pursue it due to being stuck in a contract.
BC Lions (II)
Despite rumors Mitchell would sign with an NFL franchise for the 2014 season, Mitchell signed a contract with the BC Lions of the CFL on May 6, 2014. Mitchell did not have a significant impact on the Lions defense during the 2014 season. He finished the season with only 9 tackles and 1 sack. Following the season he was not re-signed by the Lions, and became a free-agent on February 10, 2015.
On August 31, 2016, midway through the 2016 CFL season Mitchell signed with the Saskatchewan Roughriders as a practice squad member. On September 12, he was released from the team due to "being unfit".
Sioux Falls Storm
On February 7, 2017, Mitchell signed with the Sioux Falls Storm of the Indoor Football League as a starting defensive lineman. As of June 2017, he is currently leading the team in sacks and tackles and is 7th in the entire league. Mitchell and the Storm lost the United Bowl against the Arizona Rattlers on July 7, 2017.
There were widespread rumours that Mitchell will be signing with a CFL team in the 2018 season from unconfirmed sources (likely online). CFL radio host Aaron Nagy will not confirm or deny if Mitchell is going to sign with Saskatchewan. Though, some recent tweets at the time rumors were circulating show overwhelming support for Toronto. Although rumors suggested that he would sign with a CFL team, no such transaction occurred (likely due to his reputation for posting ill-advised and often inflammatory comments online).
On 06 July 2017, Mitchell posted an apology with a new handle (from the same account) @kqmitchell_96: on twitter, stating, "The CFL doesn't have to worry about my tweets. Everyone makes mistakes, & I sincerely apologize for them."
This created a positive reaction from fans and former teammates, as he also stated that everyone deserves equal rights and advocated for the LGBTQ community. Additionally, he tweeted about the inequality Hawaii Five-0 stars of Asian descent, actor Daniel Dae Kim and actress Grace Park had to endure, as they were paid significantly less than their white co-stars. Stating, "I ❤️ Asian people, my agent is a friend and Chinese." This may refer to a comment made about people of "Asian" descent earlier in his career, but garnered a positive response as well from fans, and former teammates.
Mitchell has stated he is a liberal and has spoken out about his Christian faith.
- "B.C. Lions lineman suspended two games for hyperextending opponent's arm". The Globe and Mail.
- "Khalif Mitchell returns to B.C. Lions". cbc.ca. 6 May 2014.
- "CFL veteran Khalif Mitchell fined for promoting Holocaust denial on Twitter". The Guardian.
- "Lions' Khalif Mitchell fined, will sit out due to offensive tweet". cbc.ca. 17 October 2012.
- "B.C. Lions' Khalif Mitchell fined by CFL, benched for Eskimos game after 'unacceptable' racial Twitter comments (with video)". www.vancouversun.com.
- "CFL, Alouettes levy fines against Khalif Mitchell over tweets". thestar.com. 14 May 2015.
- "Traded to Toronto". Archived from the original on 2015-09-23. Retrieved 2017-09-02.
- "Displeasure with trade". Archived from the original on 2013-11-03. Retrieved 2017-12-07.
- "Khalif Mitchell fills need for Argonauts at training camp". cbc.ca. 2 June 2013.
- "Alouettes sign free agent DT Mitchell". TSN. TSN.ca Staff.
- "Riders add veteran DL Khalif Mitchell to practice roster". CFL.ca. 2016-08-31. Retrieved 2016-09-02.