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NFL Replacement Ref Backlash: Players and Media Speak Out

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Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita @scottfujita99: “Missed calls & bad calls are going to happen. That’s part of the deal & we can all live with it. But not knowing all the rules…and major procedural errors (like allowing the clock to run after an incomplete pass) are completely unacceptable. Enough already.”

ESPN personality Kevin B. Blackistone ‏@ProfBlackistone: “Today is an unmitigated disaster for the #NFL’s lockout of its referees.”

Fox Sports columnist Jason Whitlock ‏@WhitlockJason: “Replacement refs are absolutely cracking under scrutiny and pressure. Things r getting worse rather than better. Just calling shat. Guessing”

ESPN Mike & Mike host Mike Greenberg @Espngreeny: “First off — the officiating in the #Jets vs #Steelers bordered on hilarious, I’m embarrassed for the league.”

ESPN PTI host Michael Wilbon @RealMikeWilbon: “Now we’ve got the replacement officials bungling repeatedly…Didn’t take all that long…they don’t know WHAT the hell is up in Skins-Rams.”

AP writer Ron Fournier ‏@ron_fournier: “NFL: It’s time to get your refs back on the field. The scabs are hurting your product.”

Sports Illustrated senior writer Jim Trotter ‏@SI_JimTrotter: “the thing that astounds me about the replacement refs is the calls they DON’T make that are right in front of their faces. smh.”

CBSSports.com columnist Mike Freeman ‏@realfreemancbs: “The worst week for replacement refs yet.”

Sports Illustrated senior NFL writer Peter King @SI_PeterKing: “Officiating Sunday, especially in Philly, was a mess … The Vick replay was an all-time bonehead call.”

Washington Post columnist Mike Wise ‏@MikeWiseguy: “This game has been a mockery, an abject disaster for unqualified replacement referees who have given locked-out genuine officials leverage.”

and our personal favorite:

The one and only Conan O’Brien [email protected]: “Bold move by the NFL starting their season without their normal referees and going with guys from Foot Locker.”

Want more reaction? Check out USA Today‘s roundup of some sportswriter’s comments.

And don’t forget about our petition to the NFL to END THE REFEREE LOCKOUT IMMEDIATELY. Please spread the word!

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