Head of the NFL Referees Association Says Players Yelling at Officials a Big Concern

The NFL has fined multiple players this season for criticizing individual officials, and the head of the NFL Referees Association doesn’t want to see such incidents become a trend, Tom Pelissero of USA Today reports.

Scott Green, the former NFL referee and recently appointed NFLRA executive director, said on Tuesday he wants to speak with the players union about how to curb the type of remarks made by Washington Redskins cornerback Josh Norman, Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce and Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey.

“They got all fined, and yeah, that’s very concerning to us,” Green said by phone. “That’s different than what we’ve seen in the past, and it’s definitely something that I want to talk to (NFL Players Association executive director) De 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 kind of an open conversation,” Green said of speaking to Smith and the NFLPA, with which the officials’ union works closely on many issues.

“Should we be looking more to team leaders to immediately focus on somebody? Are there things we can do on the field to try to keep that kind of stuff under control? It’s definitely a concern, because I can’t recall the individual (criticism) where they were calling out specific officials by name or number” in the past.

“It’s kind of an open conversation,” Green said of speaking to Smith and the NFLPA, with which the officials’ union works closely on many issues.

“Should we be looking more to team leaders to immediately focus on somebody? Are there things we can do on the field to try to keep that kind of stuff under control? It’s definitely a concern, because I can’t recall the individual (criticism) where they were calling out specific officials by name or number” in the past.”

“I’m not going to say we don’t miss calls. We obviously do,” Green said. “But players miss plays and coaches miss plays as well. When we’re in the high-90s (percentage-wise), we’re doing pretty good for basically getting that one look when we make the call and then obviously there’s replay to help. To say that officiating is getting worse is just not correct.”

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