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

Marcus Peters fined $14,037 for drinking beer with fans
Marcus Peters fined $14,037 for drinking beer with fans

If you think you're paying too much for beer at pro football games, Marcus Peters says, "Hold my beer." Via Ian Rapoport of the NFL, the Ravens cornerback was fined $14,037 by the league for jumping into the stands in Buffalo and drinking a beer in celebration of a fourth-down stop that

Jerry Jones seems to suggest Cowboys won
Jerry Jones seems to suggest Cowboys won't hire a college coach

It's becoming more and more clear that the Cowboys will be looking for a new coach. It's unclear where they'll be looking for the potential replacement for Jason Garrett. On Friday, owner and G.M. Jerry Jones dropped a hint regarding the universe of candidates. "College coaches coming directly

Jerry Jones: Expect a marijuana adjustment to NFL
Jerry Jones: Expect a marijuana adjustment to NFL's substance-abuse policy

The MLB no longer tests for marijuana, and the NFL may be following suit, eventually. "I think that you should expect and will expect an adjustment" of the league's prohibition on marijuana use, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Friday on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas, via Michael Gehlken of the

Organic chemistry; LB duo Watt, Dupree thriving for Steelers
Organic chemistry; LB duo Watt, Dupree thriving for Steelers

Bud Dupree, however, wants to let you in on a little secret. "T.J.'s one of us," Dupree said in his unique clipped southern drawl. Following two years in which their partnership seemed to thrive only in fits and starts, Dupree and Watt have evolved into one of the best edge rusher tandems in the

Former NFL players, including Clinton Portis, charged with defrauding league health care program
Former NFL players, including Clinton Portis, charged with defrauding league health care program

Ten ex-players were charged with defrauding the NFL's health care program for seeking reimbursements for medical equipment that was never purchased.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.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

Cancel reply


Top News: Football