While the NFL has upheld the Seahawks' 14-12 win over the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football, that doesn't mean fans are happy about the use of replacement referees.
The league said in a statement Tuesday that Seattle's last-second touchdown pass should not have been overturned.
Thousands of people have signed a petition on Change.org, started by sports fan named Brian Frederick, urging the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell to stop the use of replacement referees and bring back the real referees.
Here's more, courtesy of Change.org:
WASHINGTON, DC – After three weeks of controversial calls, including a disputed call last night that awarded a game to the Seattle Seahawks over the Green Bay Packers, thousands of fans have rallied behind a Change.org petition demanding that the National Football League (NFL) solve its labor dipsute with professional officials and end the use of replacement referees in the 2012 season.
More than 8,000 people have signed a rapidly growing petition on Change.org, started by sports fan Brian Frederick, urging the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell to stop the use of replacement referees and bring back professional referees.
“Poor officiating has finally affected the outcome of a game,” said Frederick, who is the executive director of the Sports Fans Coalition. “We’ve now seen three weeks of botched calls. How much longer will Commissioner Goodell and the NFL put the integrity of the game at stake by locking out professional referees?”
Last night’s Monday Night Football game between the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks provided what might be the most visceral example of replacement referees creating confusion on the field. During a game-ending play, replacement officials could not decide whether Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate caught a touchdown pass or whether Packers safety M.D. Jennings intercepted it. Replacement officials eventually called it a touchdown, awarding the game to the Seahawks.
The play is just one of many over the first three weeks of the NFL’s regular season where replacement officials have caused confusion and chaos on the field, according to Frederick. In another game from this past weekend, the San Francisco 49ers were awarded five timeouts in one half by replacement referees, and during games between the Detroit Lions and the Tennessee Titans, as well as the Washington Redskins and Cincinnati Bengals, fans felt replacement officials botched penalty calls that marched off more yardage than called for by official rules.
“These replacement referees are in over their heads. We’ve seen them cost a team a game, and their inconsistency continues to punish teams on a week-by-week basis. How long will it be before a player is seriously hurt because of incompetent officiating?” Frederick added. “Commissioner Goodell and the NFL are sending a loud and clear message that they care more about making money than they do about the integrity and honesty of the game.”
Frederick’s petition on Change.org is one of the most popular petitions on the site now, bringing in thousands of signatures since last night’s Packers and Seahawks game.
“Thousands of frustrated fans are signing Brian’s petition in hopes that the NFL will listen to them,” said Michael Jones, Campaign Director at Change.org. “Looking at the comments left on Brian’s petition, you can see fans pleading with the NFL to solve their standstill with professional referees.”