NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has made clear that criticism of officials is not permitted, and Saints coach Sean Payton will reportedly pay the price.
Chris Mortensen of ESPN reports that Payton has been fined $15,000 for criticizing the officiating in Sunday’s loss to the Denver Broncos. Payton told reporters he was angry that the Broncos weren’t flagged for lining up in the neutral zone when the Saints were stopped on third-and-1 with 2:20 to play.
The fact that the visual evidence shows Payton was right is irrelevant, as far as the league is concerned: League employees can’t publicly criticize the officials, period.
Mortensen reports that Payton will appeal the fine.

26 responses to “REPORT: SEAN PAYTON FINED $15,000

  1. Bet you a zillion that the big fat coach in the NW won’t get fined for publically repeating over and over and over again that the refs stole the SB from him. Double, triple standards, who’s counting?

  2. The Broncos have definitely been helped by some bad calls this year. If their games were officiated fairly & correctly, there’s a good chance they’d be 1-2 instead of 3-0.

  3. Mr. Payton….please make note that the coaching staff of the Chargers said NOTHING after the total screwing they took at the hands of an official who admittiedly messed up.
    If there is a team in this league who should have a gimme when it comes to verbally ripping the Zebras it is the Chargers.
    Since you are not the Chargers coach, get your check book out, and forget the new car you were gonna make a down payment on this week. Now get your clip board, and head set, and go back to the sidelines.

  4. Florio, what was all that talk about being able to question officials, just not their integrity? You had several articles about that in the past couple of weeks and now Payton gets fined and all you say is “you can’t question officials in public.” Which one is it?
    Several people made comments worse then this. Was Norv Turner fined? How about Polian?

  5. If they’re going to fine Payton for comments he made last week, before the “clarification” was sent to all teams, they need to fine Norv Turner, Jerry Jones, and Bill Polian.

  6. If you can’t criticize them when your right, when can you???? They sound like a bunch of little Hitlers to me.

  7. Sean,
    a little too much whine (with your cheese…that you cut…that stinks). Woo, they missed a helmet breaking the plane of the imaginary line ….wooooooo burn the refs…gimme a break. Pay the fine!! ha ha ha

  8. Payton should have been criticized for going on 4th and goal from the one late in the 1st half after 3 successive stops there by the roncos when that FG he bypassed later became the SOLE reason he even had to think of going for it on that later play AND that brainless 1st half decision cost his team the game.
    Saints were the better team that day, all that day EXCEPT one Bush turnover for a TD return and 3 times stopped on 4th down.

  9. Not to be ultra-PC or anything, but I could do without the seventh-grade “Hitler” and “Nazi” references to anything that the NFL does that people disagree with.
    Really? “Nazis” because they don’t want criticism of the officiating to get out of hand? Oookay.

  10. Here’s the problem with this scenario and everybody griping about the coaches getting fined for criticizing the referees…
    That means that the teams can appeal or complain officially to the NFL about the problems with the referee calls. INSTEAD of running to the media and crying foul play. All the coaches would have to say to the media with regard to the calls is that they will be reviewed and appropriate appeals submitted to the NFL. End of story. Granted, that doesn’t work for the media because a non-story doesn’t sell newspapers, website visits, or tuning in to the latest schmuck reporter talking about something he made up 5 minutes before air time.
    When players run to the media instead of addressing their problems with the team or with the league they are crucified by both fans and the media. When those players get fined, both the fans and the media talk about how it was the right move because the players should’ve handled it internally. Why is there a double standard when it comes to the situation of coaches talking about the referees?
    There is a process in place for coaches to address their concerns internally without creating an unnecessary media storm like the one the NFL is experiencing now. Because of one bad call that was blown way out of proportion by a disgruntled team, every time a bad call has been made this season (and we’re only into Week 4!!!) it gets more and more air-time instead of just dropping it and moving on to the next game. It makes watching any highlights or reading any news on the NFL almost unbearable because people can’t get past what is already set in stone. It also makes the NFL look bad because the team isn’t utilizing the system in place to address the concerns and whining about something you can’t change isn’t an effective way to make changes. If teams want to throw temper tantrums to the media then they deserve to be fined just like a spoiled little kid that whines to his parents deserves to be grounded or have a timeout or whatever the punishment is. Teams want to act like 3 year olds they can get treated like 3 year olds.

  11. >>>>>>>>>>>>
    everybody griping about the coaches getting fined for criticizing the referees…
    Um, most people are griping about ONE coach getting fined while several other coaches and owners in recent weeks have been given a free pass. The league is usually pretty consistent in enforcing rules, and the recent ref criticism finings have been very INconsistent.

  12. okay i am confused again, so let me go through this. Reggie bush was given a first down, prior to the the Saints first touchdown. I recorded the game and watched the replay which cleary showed he was at least a half yard behind the first down marker. they showed the play, numerous times, at no time did he cross the plane with the ball for the first down, I watched the line judge mark him short of the first down. The next thing you know, they have a first down. Then they give the touchdown, they also showed that the ball clearly not breaking the plane of the goal line, his head and shoulders did but the ball was down by his waist, but it was a touchdown none the less. Hey you got a freebie!! Now we get a grainy still photo, of a bronco player offside or at least lined up in the nuetral zone, problem is we have no proof that he got back onside before the snap of the ball. If they showed the ball being snaped before he gets back, or a sucession of photos with the player in question in that same position at the snap of the ball, it is a missed called. Once again we are left with less than conclusive evidence. The video would show that to be conclusive, but we were not shown that, you have to question why that is, could it be that it did not show what they claimed it did. Like it or not they have to stop this bull from getting farther out of hand, there will always be missed calls deal with it! Don’t likeit, grab a whistle, put on the stripes, so how easy it is, then let everyone critique your a–.

  13. TheDPR,
    I’m speaking in general terms as the basis of several posting by PFT revolves around the rule of coaches getting fined for criticizing the referees. This particular posting focused on Payton, but it’s how many in a long list of postings regarding the whole situation?
    If you’ll read my post, I didn’t mention Payton by name, but I did infer back to his situation as the posting was obviously where I drew some of my examples from. The next coach to say something about the referees will probably be fined the same as him and is just as deserving. That was the point of my posting and if you missed that, please read it again. Payton got what he deserved and any coach that gets fined in the future does as well. End of story.
    With regard to Turner, I’m as lost as everyone else on why he hasn’t been fined. But because he hasn’t been fined doesn’t mean Payton shouldn’t be fined. Just because the league didn’t enforce the rule on one coach doesn’t mean they shouldn’t enforce the rule on another coach that deserves it, too. I can only hope the NFL will eventually give Turner a fine for those comments and put this whining behind them.

  14. While there is freedom of speech in this great country of ours, that freedom of speech can be limited in our work place. I think everyone is limited with what they say at work. The difference is most people at work don’t broadcast there opinions to the nation everyday.

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