The NFL replacement refs have made several questionable calls during the first three weeks of the season but that, according to league officials, doesn’t excuse the behavior of New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick.
Belichick was fined $50,000 for grabbing one of the replacement refs after the Pats lost the Baltimore Ravens 31-30 on Sunday night.
The NFL released a statement saying:
“Belichick was fined $50,000 for impermissible physical contact with an official.”
“I’ve already commented on that the other day and I don’t have anything to add … Whatever the league decides to do, I’ll respect and just keep trying to do my job.”
The Patriots’ coach explained his actions after the Sunday night game saying that he didn’t mean to harass the official. Belichick said that he was trying to get the refs attention so he could find out what happened on the questionable play.
“When the game was over, I went out, and I was really looking for an explanation from the officials as to whether or not the play was under review. I did try to get the official’s attention as he was coming off the field to ask that, but I really wasn’t able to do that. I have never meant any disrespect or in any way tried to abuse or be disrespectful to the officials and the job that they do. I’m trying to get an explanation for obviously an important call, play, in that game. That’s the number one thing between coaches and officials. It’s always at the forefront. It’s just communication of what’s going on, of what’s happening.”
USA Today reports that the NFL also fined Washington Redskins Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan $25,000 for yelling at an official.
Hopefully these are the last fines that the NFL hands out due to replacement refs. The league is reportedly close to reaching a deal with the NFLRA and regular refs could be back on the field this weekend.