Saturday, October 18, 2008

NFL Continues Gag Rule -- Fining Players For Criticizing Officials

The NFL issued $20,000 fines to NFL players Denver Broncos Dre' Bly and Miami Dolphins Joey Porter for making comments that were critical of NFL referees.

Joey Porter said that he thought his team won the game, actually, "but they kept getting calls."  I wonder if that is considered referee criticism.  Sounds like just commenting on how the other team got calls -- he isn't saying that the calls were wrong.

Dre' Bly said that after getting some favorable calls in other games, "I guess they've been evaluating us and say we won games we shouldn't have won.  So, I guess they're going to get a call against us."  I wonder whether there's an argument that Dre' Bly is just applying an unfounded statistical approach to probabilities and commenting that a call will happen at some point that under an illogical approach, perhaps things will even out and go against his team.

Anyway, why does the NFL have a gag rule against commenting on NFL referees?  It is unfair to gag the coaches, players, and owners.  The sportswriters should focus harder on criticizing and commenting on NFL referees -- come on, save the players who are gagged and can't say anything.  Say it for them and let the players save their money by staying quiet!


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