The NFL was able to get away with having replacement refs the first week of the season, but many players took issue to the fact they were there. Green Bay Packers player Jarrett Bush went as far as to say the 49ers didn’t beat his team last week — the refs did. Bush may or may not have been implying that the refs wanted a certain team to win, but the NFL is pulling a ref off of active duty for today’s Saints-Panthers game because of comments he posted on Facebook.
Side judge Brian Stropolo, who worked the NFL’s Cowboys-Gaints opener, drew scores of comments on his Facebook page when he announced that he’d be working the Saints game the following week — a fact Stropolo relished as he is an avid New Orleans Saints fan and so are some of his friends.
Comments on his page urged Stropolo to “take it easy” on the Saints. It’s hard to believe anyone was actually asking him to fix an NFL game on the most popular social media site ever, but the NFL wasn’t taking any chances of potential favoritism in the game and pulled Stropolo.
It’s sort of half-hearted, as the NFL has made it clear they’re massively hypocritical when it comes to player safety and the competitiveness of the game. But with fake referees out on the field, the last thing the NFL needs to do is give the NFLRA leverage by sticking a fan on the field to ref his own team’s game.