NFL pulls side judge for being Saints fan
The NFL has removed a replacement official from the New
Orleans-Carolina game because it discovered he’s a Saints fan.
Side judge Brian Stropolo has been replaced by an alternate, Tim
Keese. The NFL made the decision Sunday morning just hours before
”He was replaced because of the information that surfaced
disclosing that he is a Saints fan,” league spokesman Michael
The league will look further into the matter. It received
several phone calls and emails about Stropolo, who is from New
Orleans and posted several photos of himself in Saints gear
tailgating at a preseason game on his Facebook page.
Stropolo’s Facebook page has since been taken down.
Stropolo worked the Week 1 NFL opener, a nationally televised
game between the Cowboys and the defending Super Bowl champion
ESPN was first to report the news.
Panthers general manager Marty Hurney declined comment on the
situation, calling it ”a league matter.”
The NFL locked out the regular officials in June after their
contract expired. Negotiations with the NFL Referees Association
broke down several times during the summer, including just before
the season, and the league is using replacements for the first time
Back then, the lockout lasted for one week of the regular season
before a settlement was reached. This is the second weekend the
replacements are being used, and the NFL has drawn up a five-week
schedule for using them if the labor dispute is not resolved.
Last week, there was one major error by the replacement
officials, when they awarded Seattle an extra timeout in the final
minutes of a game at Arizona. The Cardinals held on to win and the
crew’s referee admitted the mistake after the game.