NFL recently issued second reminder to all teams about criticizing officiating

  • In Sports/Football
  • 2019-10-20 15:53:06Z
  • By ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports

After the Browns lost last week to the Seahawks, Cleveland coach Freddie Kitchens opted not to discuss officiating.

"I got a memo the other day," Kitchen said. I am not commenting on it. You guys saw the game."

He's not the only one who got the memo. On October 11 (two days before the Seahawks-Browns game), all coaches, General Managers, team presidents, and chiefs executive received a memo from the league. PFT has obtained a copy of it.

The memo made it clear that the NFL prohibits "[c]riticism of officiating which includes, but is not limited to, the following: Comments regarding the quality of officiating, individual calls or missed calls, the League's officiating department, an officiating crew, or an individual game official; [a]ccusing game officials of acting with bias or in any way questioning the integrity of NFL game officials; or [p]osting negative or derogatory/demeaning content pertaining to officiating on social media."

The memo also explained that private communications from the league office to individual teams regarding officiating should not be disclosed, that verbal and other non-physical abuse of game officials is prohibited, and that public criticism of opponents or opposing coaches cannot occur.

"Violations of these policies will result in prompt disciplinary action by the League office, which may include fines of the club and/or individual who make such public comments," the memo explains. "Egregious and inflammatory public comments could result in the suspension of the individual(s) making the comment."

It was the second notice sent this season.

And the league showed that it meant what it said this week, fining Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield for criticizing officials after last week's game and also fining Rams linebacker Clay Matthews for a tweet posted after last Monday night's officiating debacle that saw Matthews' old team secure an ill-gotten win over Detroit. It was the first time any player was fined for criticizing officials since 2016, when Washington cornerback Josh Norman lost $25,000 over saying "you suck" in reference to an official.

As a league spokesman said at the time, "I can't recall the last time a player was fined" for criticizing officials.

That definitely has changed. Whether silencing internal dissent at a time when the league's officiating function is under siege represents the best approach remains to be seen. It also remains to be seen whether more officiating problems arise this weekend, and whether more players will throw caution to the wind and ultimately make an involuntary contribution to the charities supported by the thousands of dollars in fines that the league imposes on an ongoing basis.


More Related News

Nick Bosa fined for blindside block
Nick Bosa fined for blindside block

The Vikings and 49ers disagreed about whether 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa took a cheap shot at Vikings offensive tackle Brian O'Neill last weekend. The NFL sided with the Vikings The league fined Bosa $28,075 for the illegal blindside block he laid on O'Neill, which also drew a 15-yard penalty. The NFL has emphasized protecting players from blindside blocks this year, and Bosa is one of many players who has been flagged and fined.

NFL playoffs: Who will win Super Bowl LIV?
NFL playoffs: Who will win Super Bowl LIV?

Indeed, the Pats, Denver Broncos, Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers or Indianapolis Colts have represented the AFC in the past 16 Super Bowls, but this year either the Kansas City Chiefs or Tennessee Titans will be in Miami. The NFC has been a more open conference and either the San Francisco 49ers or Green Bay Packers - two of the NFL's most storied organisations - will be the sixth different franchise to win that Championship Game in the past six years. But which team will go on to lift the Lombardi Trophy at Hard Rock Stadium on February 2?

Georgia's Smart hires Todd Monken as offensive coordinator

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) -- - Todd Monken, the former offensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is Kirby Smart's choice to lead Georgia's offense. Monken, 53, was named on Friday to replace James Coley as the Bulldogs' offensive coordinator. Coley will remain on

Worth the wait; Steelers
Worth the wait; Steelers' great Shell reveling in Hall nod

Donnie Shell knows what a Hall of Famer looks like. It helps when you spend your career calling them teammates, as the hard-hitting safety did during 14 seasons dealing out punishment in the Pittsburgh Steelers secondary. Shell knew one day he'd get fitted for a gold jacket and pose for the bust

Katie Sowers:
Katie Sowers: 'The 49ers didn't hire me as a coach to make a point'

Back in October, moments before the 49ers embarked on their Monday Night Football clobbering of the Cleveland Browns, a group of 49ers assistant coaches crammed into an elevator and headed up to their box at Levi's Stadium. About halfway up the ride, one of the coach's phones buzzed, setting off his ringtone which, in a prophetic moment, happened to be DJ Khaled's All I Do Is Win. It's a promising crew that resembles most other NFL set-ups … with one notable exception.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: Football