You may have noticed throughout this season that some of the people complaining about the alleged poor performance of NFL referees were not just fans, but actual players on NFL teams. Josh Norman and Travis Kelce come to mind as two high-profile examples.
“Who is official eighty-eight? I’ve gotta know,” Norman said after a game this year. “You suck. I’m just being honest with you. I’m just being straightforward. He was terrible and I feel like he should be reprimanded.”
Kelce, meanwhile, said, “Ref No. 51 shouldn’t even be able to wear a zebra jersey ever again. He shouldn’t even be able to work at [expletive] Foot Locker.”
Both players were fined.
Still, NFL Referees Association head Scott Green was not satisfied with just the monetary penalties.
“They got all fined, and yeah, that’s very concerning to us,” Green told USA Today Sports. “That’s different than what we’ve seen in the past, and it’s definitely something that I want to talk to De Smith (NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith) about with the players’ association: What is it we need to do about that?
“We appreciate that the league reprimands guys for doing that, but we also like it to be known that in those instances, all those calls were correct. That, to us, is equally as important, that the public knows that just because somebody complained and said it was horrible and the guy is horrible and he shouldn’t be on the field — it’s important that word gets back out that, well, just so you’re aware, we reviewed those plays and [the penalties] were there.”
It’s at least somewhat ironic that the head of the NFL Referees Association is publicly complaining about the fact that players publicly complain about referees. Still, at least he brought some facts to the table.
“When we’re in the high-90s [in terms of percentage of correct calls], we’re doing pretty good for basically getting that one look when we make the call and then obviously there’s replay to help,” Green said. “To say that officiating is getting worse is just not correct.”
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / Head of NFL Referees Association complains about players’ referee complaints