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NFL Warns Teams About Confronting Backup Officials, NFL.com Says

Sept. 21 (Bloomberg) -- The National Football League warned its 32 teams that disrespectful confrontations with the substitute officials currently working regular-season games won’t be tolerated, according to NFL.com.

With the NFL Referees Association locked out, several senior NFL administrators made phone calls yesterday to team owners, general managers and coaches to “send a message that everyone has a responsibility on respect for the game,” NFL Executive Vice President Ray Anderson said, according to the league’s website.

The warnings came after a game between the Atlanta Falcons and Denver Broncos on Sept. 17 was slowed by officiating issues, during which players and coaches, such as the Broncos’ John Fox, were seen berating the officials.

“The events of Monday evening, in the first half of that game, represented unacceptable behavior,” Anderson said, according to NFL.com. “We’re not going to tolerate it.”

Greg Aiello, a spokesman for the NFL, declined to comment on the warnings in an e-mail. Corry Rush, another league spokesman, said in an e-mail that he had no information on the possibility of a fine for Fox.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mason Levinson in New York at mlevinson@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net

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