The NFL replacement refs had another rough week, and despite a league memo asking players and coaches to stop criticizing the temporary officials, Patriots linebacker Brandon Spikes threw in his two cents last night.
After the Patriots’ loss last night to the Baltimore Ravens, Spikes tweeted:
“Can someone please tell these (expletive) zebras foot locker called and they’re needed Back at work!!!! #BreakingPoint”
This is a pretty obvious reference to the replacement refs. Twitter lit up after Spikes’ comments but the Patriots linebacker insists that he wasn’t talking about the officials. He was talking about, you know, real zebras that are employed at Foot Locker.
Ref?!?! I never said anything about the “Refs” y’all need to chill out!! #imTru
Before this weekend’s game the NFL sent out a message to all 32 teams saying that the NFL would not tolerate criticism of the replacement refs.
NFL executive vice president Ray Anderson told NFL.com:
“The purpose was to send a message that everyone has a responsibility on respect for the game. Everyone needs to be mindful that this respect for the game has to be practiced at all times, and that the events of Monday evening, in the first half of that game, represented unacceptable behavior. We’re not gonna tolerate it. And we expect that everyone we talked to pass word on to everyone involved on the sideline that we expect there to be a respect for what’s going on.”
It’s unclear if Spike will be fined or punished for criticizing the refs on Twitter. If he is, the league will probably have to punish a few other players and coaches. Bill Belichick, for instance, grabbed a ref at the end of the game and yelled at him for blowing a call.
Do you think players and coaches should be fined for criticizing the NFL replacement refs?