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League won’t fine Vick for his comments about officiating

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Vick tosses ball during warm-up session before playing New York Giants in NFL football game in Philadelphia Reuters

After Sunday’s loss to the Giants, Eagles quarterback Mike Vick embarked on an “I’m not complainin’ . . . I’m just complainin’“-style rant regarding the lack of calls for roughing the passer.  Some thought Vick’s comments could get him fined.  But the league office says that there will be no repercussions against Vick.

“We did not regard it as ‘criticism,’” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told PFT  via email.  “He made an observation and raised a question for which his club can obtain answers.”

Aiello also supplied the precise language of the Game Operations manual, regarding the criticism of officials.

“Criticism of Game Officials or complaints about opponents’ tactics outside the rules must be made only to the League office in a written report sent via email or fax following each game,” Aiello said. “Public airing of such matters, whether directly or indirectly, during or after a game, verbally or by use of film or videotape, on or off the record, is prohibited by the NFL Constitution and Bylaws and will not be tolerated.  This includes abusive language and profanity aimed at Officials during games.  Any violation will be subject to a fine, with the dollar amount to be determined by the Commissioner.”

Reasonable minds may differ on whether Vick was criticizing the officials.  Though most of it was couched in passive-aggressive terms, the question raised by Vick constitutes the criticism, and Vick’s agenda seemed to be to put the officials on the defensive in future games, so that maybe they’ll throw a flag when he’s hit.

Still, Vick was blunt.  He said he was hit late, but there was no flag.  He said he “absolutely” doesn’t get calls other quarterbacks get.  He said the “refs gotta do their job as well.”

The good news is that this situation provides some clarity on the question of whether players can be fined for criticizing officials.  In the past, there was confusion as to whether players could be fined for criticism that didn’t attack the integrity of the officials.  The language quoted above contains no such exception, which means that coaches and players stand on the same footing when it comes to the criticism of officials.

If, of course, their words are interpreted by the league as criticism.

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67 Responses to “League won’t fine Vick for his comments about officiating”
  1. gtorlone says: Sep 28, 2011 1:08 PM

    Well, James Harrison’s gonna have to pay for this!

  2. hooks024 says: Sep 28, 2011 1:08 PM

    Does this mean rex ryan won’t be fined for his criticism of officials after the jets loss?

  3. joetoronto says: Sep 28, 2011 1:09 PM

    Everybody will even up with this turd, maybe even his own linemen.

    The guy’s gonna get drilled, over and over, and rightfully so.

  4. jw731 says: Sep 28, 2011 1:11 PM

    So……Basically, this is a story about nothing……

  5. pkrlvr says: Sep 28, 2011 1:12 PM

    How strange and ironic it is to see Michael Vick complaining about unfair treatment…….

  6. lunarpie says: Sep 28, 2011 1:13 PM

    Does anybody ever think that the refs are sick of protecting a guy who runs the ball all over of the field then gets popped n wants a FLAG?!?!?

  7. allprofantasy says: Sep 28, 2011 1:17 PM

    The league should fine Roger Goddell

  8. Patriot42 says: Sep 28, 2011 1:18 PM

    Everyone including the league office is bending over backwards to see the this felon comes across as a person that has changed from a uncaring lowlife to this great American.

  9. myfinalword says: Sep 28, 2011 1:19 PM

    Sounds to me like the league feels his complaints have merit. Like it or not, Mike Vick = Huge ratings. Him being off the field is not good business for the league.

  10. benh999 says: Sep 28, 2011 1:23 PM

    Maybe his problem is zero pocket presence more than it is an inadequate number of roughing the passer penalties.

    Funny how now that Vick got his big money contract and is presumably out of bankruptcy, he is the same old Michael Vick again.

  11. cowboy88 says: Sep 28, 2011 1:25 PM

    Vick is just complaining to try and guilt the refs into giving him calls. It won’t get any easier against the 9ers this weekend. Philly may win but you can guarantee Vick will take his share of hits.

  12. snaponrules says: Sep 28, 2011 1:25 PM

    So will romo get fined for saying the redskins were cheating? Which we all know didn’t happen.

    Because it should have been a letter to the league instead of public airing.

  13. stevo8drum says: Sep 28, 2011 1:27 PM

    all last year he was hit out of bounds… no flags. His Coach called out the refs and a week later it was better. Facts are facts….. when Dmac was philly he had a broken rib 2 seperate times on very very late hits. I dont know y… and im not saying its a philly bias…or a black bias… but honestly…. guys like Manning and brady get those calls every time. The hit this week was contact with part of his head… thats ALWAYS a flag. I watched Trent Cole get call after call last year when his pinky glazed a head. against him last year. Vicks not 100% right…. but hes not 100%wrong either.

  14. skoobyfl says: Sep 28, 2011 1:28 PM

    I found it ironic that he complained about getting treated like an animal when he was on the ground.

  15. whiteskinsblackskinsredskins says: Sep 28, 2011 1:28 PM

    No kidding. Chris Canty is the one that should be getting fined.

  16. stevo8drum says: Sep 28, 2011 1:29 PM

    LUNARPE- Does anybody ever think that the refs are sick of protecting a guy who runs the ball all over of the field then gets popped n wants a FLAG?!?!?

    __________________________________

    clearly you dont watch these games. He is getting killed IN THE POCKET.

  17. boltschick says: Sep 28, 2011 1:30 PM

    Wow, Vick’s “observations” clearly constituted criticism. The league seems to bend over backwards to give him a break.

  18. dobberdubinsky says: Sep 28, 2011 1:31 PM

    There is such a double standard in the NFL about who gets fined for running their mouth, if this was James Harrison, he would have been fined twenty grand. Go cry elsewhere Vick!

  19. shaggytoodle says: Sep 28, 2011 1:32 PM

    This guy should just keep his mouth shut and stick to ball, thats what he did in Atl, and I am sure the majority of people thought much higher of him back then.

  20. patsfan says: Sep 28, 2011 1:33 PM

    So does this mean the Cowboys will get fined f or sayiing the redskins cheated?

  21. stevepea says: Sep 28, 2011 1:33 PM

    All the officials probably have pet dogs.

  22. ajknox88 says: Sep 28, 2011 1:33 PM

    Very suprising considering the greatest thing that Goodell has contributed to football is his charity donations via players salaries.

  23. comebackid says: Sep 28, 2011 1:33 PM

    You’re not Brady, so stop complaining.

  24. cheddarski says: Sep 28, 2011 1:40 PM

    Bet if he was white he’d get a fine. LoL

  25. whodeytn says: Sep 28, 2011 1:45 PM

    GODell will do anything to help Vick.. Sort of like when the Bengals were interested in signing him out of prison but GODell advised him to go to Philly instead.

    I mean seriously, the commissioner telling players which teams to play for? That sounds a bit shady.

  26. shaggytoodle says: Sep 28, 2011 1:50 PM

    The NFL doesn’t owe Vick anything, especially on the play where he had his concussion.

  27. gcsuk says: Sep 28, 2011 1:51 PM

    stevo8drum says: Sep 28, 2011 1:27 PM

    all last year he was hit out of bounds… no flags. His Coach called out the refs and a week later it was better. Facts are facts….. when Dmac was philly he had a broken rib 2 seperate times on very very late hits. I dont know y… and im not saying its a philly bias…or a black bias… but honestly…. guys like Manning and brady get those calls every time. The hit this week was contact with part of his head… thats ALWAYS a flag. I watched Trent Cole get call after call last year when his pinky glazed a head. against him last year. Vicks not 100% right…. but hes not 100%wrong either.
    ———————————————————————
    That’s funny. Tom Brady got popped last week below the knee, pretty blatantly. No flag. Cullen Jenkins of YOUR Philadelphia Eagles head butts Matt Ryan in Week 2, no flag. Jason Babin blatantly facemasks Eli Manning IN FRONT OF the Ump, no flag.

    Do you want them to start having Instant Replay for fouls and non-called fouls too? Do you feel like sitting down to a 5 hour game?

    These things happen, and they have a way of evening out over the game or over the season. Sometimes you get the call, sometimes not. Vick just seems to think he is something special.

  28. phillyfan4ever says: Sep 28, 2011 1:53 PM

    They shouldn’t fine him, he has a legitimate argument, doesn’t matter if you don’t like him

  29. angrycorgi says: Sep 28, 2011 1:54 PM

    Yup, it’s the refs’ fault Vick can’t read defenses worth a dang.

  30. yzguy431 says: Sep 28, 2011 1:54 PM

    is it me, or is anyone else tired of hearing about fines?

  31. angrycorgi says: Sep 28, 2011 1:57 PM

    Vick should be criticizing his management for that garbage O-line and useless paper-mache LBs giving up plays left and right thus forcing the offense to try and outscore everyone….

  32. jmt8251 says: Sep 28, 2011 2:00 PM

    That kills you so-called dog lovers, the truth hurts you bigots and Flioro is about to bust a blood vessel. Vick told the truth, you haters just can’t stand to hear the truth. Still want to have that good-ol-boy mentality don’t speak because you are …. like combackid just said what a sick society, he is a human being with the right to speak especially when it is true. You blow on Brady and Manning you get suspended. Put Brady behind the Eagles line he would have been out of the league career ending injury. So keep hating Floiro and group. Go Eagles

  33. CKL says: Sep 28, 2011 2:02 PM

    myfinalword says: Sep 28, 2011 1:19 PM

    Sounds to me like the league feels his complaints have merit. Like it or not, Mike Vick = Huge ratings. Him being off the field is not good business for the league.
    _____________________________________
    I know right? The league’s tv ratings were way in the toilet from 07-09 weren’t they?#sarcasm

    I disagree with anyone being fined for criticizing referees whether they be coaches or players. Stupid rule. Let them whine, then we just know what bitches they are.

  34. Mr. Wright 212 says: Sep 28, 2011 2:04 PM

    He should be fined if Phil Jackson routinely got fined for the same thing lmao

  35. nesuperfan says: Sep 28, 2011 2:08 PM

    stevo8drum says:Sep 28, 2011 1:29 PM

    LUNARPE- Does anybody ever think that the refs are sick of protecting a guy who runs the ball all over of the field then gets popped n wants a FLAG?!?!?

    __________________________________

    clearly you dont watch these games. He is getting killed IN THE POCKET.
    __________________________________

    Stevo, you CAN get hit in the pocket. You CAN hit the QB.

    Only things like helmet-to-helmet, leading with the helmet (not shoulder), defenseless, or late hits can be penalized. Late hits would be the most common, in this case, but the guy hangs on to the ball forever, so he doesn’t get the calls because they are not really late hits.

  36. chiefspirate20 says: Sep 28, 2011 2:14 PM

    Let’s think with our heads and not our hearts people. Forget how you feel about Vick personally we all saw the hit that hurt him last week and it came about 2 hours late. You say they give him breaks had this been Tom Brady the defender would have been suspended from the league and fined a years salery.

  37. brintfatre says: Sep 28, 2011 2:16 PM

    I think they should allow the officials to sack him for the rest of the season!

  38. joshkimjer says: Sep 28, 2011 2:19 PM

    “After Sunday’s loss to the Giants, Eagles quarterback Mike Vick emBARKED”

    Good stuff.

  39. P_Willy says: Sep 28, 2011 2:27 PM

    Man up, or step down. Guaranteed to see @ least 2 pivotal, game-changing flags this sunday when # 52 and # 94 pop Don King of the Dogs #7 -agains’t CLEAN hits, just to shut this guy up.

  40. blackqbwhiterb says: Sep 28, 2011 2:38 PM

    they hate it, but they know they ain’t fining him…..he cold do almost anything he wants and they’ll never fine him…..

  41. greymares says: Sep 28, 2011 2:38 PM

    I happen to agree with Vick, but i am a philly fan. I beleive he needs to shut up and somebody from Philly has to put a helmet on the knee of one of the big 4, DURING OR AFTER THE PLAY. when teams find out they will pay for the hits they will stop.

  42. blackqbwhiterb says: Sep 28, 2011 2:40 PM

    Way to Stick it to the Man, Mike

  43. newagerocker says: Sep 28, 2011 2:45 PM

    I forget who it was but last year someone on The Eagles D grazed King Peyton’s helmet and drew a 15 yard penalty. Vick holds the ball too long but he hangs in the pocket and is on the ground constantly. Even though Vick shouldn’t have criticized the ref’s, he does get hit way too often, some of it is his play, some of it is the O Line and the rest are none calls, it’s a free for all on Vick.

    Yes he has a point, but he should have kept his mouth shut about it.

    I was at the game and I was as angry and frustrated as Mike was. But it was because of the horrible play of the Eagles. They have big problems, and none of their problems have to do with the officiating.

  44. str82dvd says: Sep 28, 2011 2:46 PM

    I never understood the hype. Expecting Vick to be Brady is like expectimg Brady to become AP.

  45. xxbomberxx says: Sep 28, 2011 2:54 PM

    Im better than Mike Vick…Right? I mean come on I post anonymous comments all day long. Society has it wrong, US in the comments section are the winners….right? Has to be…

  46. mhalt99 says: Sep 28, 2011 3:10 PM

    The NFL is admitting there is a different set of rules for mobile quarterbacks. He is getting hit more and the defense has more leeway when playing against him. Peyton Manning, as good as he is, isn’t going to bounce off of a defender and zig zag run 150 yards all over the field ala fran tarkenton.

    At some point they will have to define how the Vick’s/Young’s/Cunningham’s of the NFL will be protected and what they give up for using their legs.

  47. deadeye says: Sep 28, 2011 3:18 PM

    Vick is getting favorable treatment in regards to his comments. Any other QB would have been fined.

  48. sdfootballfan says: Sep 28, 2011 3:22 PM

    bitterold&bald.com

    If you guys hate this dude so much why do you feel the need to read and comment on every article that involves him?

  49. jamesmbell says: Sep 28, 2011 3:31 PM

    EXACLTY! BECAUSE IT WASN’T A CRITICISM. But God forbid a black guy look for some justice. It’s a joke hoiw this was handled in the media. Vick never went overboard. Simply asked some questions and raised some valid points. ALL of them were constructive and articulate.

  50. glac1 says: Sep 28, 2011 3:38 PM

    Why is he a league office favorite?? The NFL will do anything to make him look good and continues to allow him to do things or say things that would get other players in deep water.

  51. tncm333 says: Sep 28, 2011 3:38 PM

    boltschick says:
    “Wow, Vick’s “observations” clearly constituted criticism. The league seems to bend over backwards to give him a break.”

    It just never ends!

    Gets caught smoking dope awaiting trial- nothing. Gets rushed back into the league, shortened suspension – with Godell sticking his nose in there. Fellow con gets shot at his party – dismissed. Public airing of complaints “will not be tolerated” – ‘Vick wasn’t complaining, it’s all good”

    But nothing compares to the break he got for the AMAZING gesture of pleading guilty for abusing dogs being rewarded for it with an early release.
    Yeah, you really saved us a lot of trouble- lack of evidence and all – we’re not going to give you additional time for the crimes – you get time off! Now go play for the NFL while everyone holds on to your dick.

  52. tiktokdok says: Sep 28, 2011 3:48 PM

    Forget about fines or suspensions, Vick the “College Man”, should be required to attend grade school grammar classes.

  53. minnysoda says: Sep 28, 2011 3:58 PM

    Let me get this straight this POS can whine and cry like the Biotch he was in prison. I don’t get the calls like others do (prison wife’s word not mine) even though that has proven to be false.But then he says I ain’t complanin and he gets off with no fine. Aren’t others out there sick of this cons act ?

    Teams with any type of defense have figured him out. As the Starter they have lost 4 out of the last 5 games including playoffs and once to one of the worst teams in the league the Vikings LOL

    Do you think it was wise putting your faith in thisfragile whining felon who plays the race card? Do you think he deserved that contract? Pretty big for someone who has done squat isn’t it? That’s okay you have the best team money can buy just like the Heat good luck with that

  54. rcali says: Sep 28, 2011 4:01 PM

    When he made those comments he was using his alias Ron Mexico. The league can not fine somebody not technically employed by any team.

  55. phillywarmachine says: Sep 28, 2011 4:17 PM

    Sooner or later this ‘ vick is getting what he deserved crap has to stop’ it’s getting old. No one is talking about ray Lewis or Dante stallworth. And they killed people! And served less or no sentence than Vick. America is all about redemption and second chances. He served his time and is an active member or the community speaking out against his horrible crimes. Grow up.

  56. polishrod says: Sep 28, 2011 4:19 PM

    Patriot42 says:
    Sep 28, 2011 1:18 PM
    Everyone including the league office is bending over backwards to see the this felon comes across as a person that has changed from a uncaring lowlife to this great American.

    ————-

    Umm, what does being a good American have to do with calling NFL penalties?

    Maybe you should go back to watching T-Ball

  57. alaricsrevenge says: Sep 28, 2011 4:23 PM

    So what if Vick holds on to the ball longer then other QB’s… once he throws…whenever that is… he shouldn’t be hit. That’s it. I don’t care if he runs around for 15 seconds and tries to just throw it out of bounds, a QB is a QB and the same rules apply to everyone.

    He doesn’t complain about getting hit once he breaks for a run…only when after he throws the ball and then gets hit in the helmet/face and once the DLineman is on top of his pushing him through the field with the ref standing right there does he (like every other QB in the league) do the arms up C’Mon man look to the ref.

  58. stevo8drum says: Sep 28, 2011 4:34 PM

    nesuperfan says:
    Sep 28, 2011 2:08 PM

    LUNARPE- Does anybody ever think that the refs are sick of protecting a guy who runs the ball all over of the field then gets popped n wants a FLAG?!?!?

    __________________________________

    clearly you dont watch these games. He is getting killed IN THE POCKET.
    __________________________________

    Stevo, you CAN get hit in the pocket. You CAN hit the QB.

    Only things like helmet-to-helmet, leading with the helmet (not shoulder), defenseless, or late hits can be penalized. Late hits would be the most common, in this case, but the guy hangs on to the ball forever, so he doesn’t get the calls because they are not really late hits.

    ___________________________________

    yes- but you missed my point. This guy was saying that Vick was getting hit “running”- and thats not the case here. All i was saying is that Vick was in the Pocket. Vick was wrong to complain BUT…. there was head to head contact ON THE PLAY. and so…. no matter what… there should have been a flag.

  59. melikefootball says: Sep 28, 2011 4:44 PM

    I would not expect anything else, hey kid why not go play in Philly, wink wink.

  60. quirtevans says: Sep 28, 2011 4:48 PM

    Defensive lineman aren’t handling him with kid gloves, but the league sure is.

    “He doesn’t complain about getting hit once he breaks for a run…only when after he throws the ball and then gets hit”

    That is absolutely nothing like the truth. Vick complains about EVERYTHING. It’s a defining characteristic of his personality. He takes no responsibility for anything.

    He gets hit because he holds the ball longer, because he takes longer to go through his reads. He gets hit because he holds onto the ball even longer, trusting his legs to bail him out. If he threw the ball away when there was no one open, he wouldn’t get hit anywhere near as much. But he doesn’t. He waits, and waits, and dances, and then takes off.

    Compare him to Peyton sometime. Peyton finds a receiver or gets rid of it. He’s always got that clock running in his head, he knows how long he has before the rush gets there. Vick has no clock at all.

  61. deadmanwalking47 says: Sep 28, 2011 4:59 PM

    no way that the commish fines his boy! he was the guy who told him the eagles would his best bet in the 1st place!

  62. omega49 says: Sep 28, 2011 5:18 PM

    This is a new one for me. You get fined for complaining about the refs. Refs are way to sensitive. And what is it about vick that make most of the men here sound like jealous bitches, whats up with that? ” Thou protest to much” just sayin’

  63. faulkana says: Sep 28, 2011 5:27 PM

    bitterold&bald.com

    If you guys hate this dude so much why do you feel the need to read and comment on every article that involves him?
    —————————————————
    Because we hate him so much.

  64. Derty Ernie says: Sep 28, 2011 5:57 PM

    I am absolutely, totally, completely shocked that someone would consider hitting a quarterback so hard they would have to leave the game. Unheard of!

  65. rmm9090 says: Sep 28, 2011 6:00 PM

    Vick just can’t do the math. Never did study in college.

    The number of hits he’s gonna get is directly proportional to the amount of trash he talks.

    So go ahead Vick, keep talking about how no one can design a defense to stop you. Please….

  66. clay325 says: Sep 28, 2011 6:27 PM

    Of cource not…..Complete set of diffrent rules for Vick..

  67. 23yankees says: Sep 28, 2011 9:55 PM

    200 lb running quarterbacks will last as long as dogs chasing cars and pros putting for par, not long. So long dog killer.

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