We’ve been saying that players should start speaking up about the replacement officials. After Friday night’s Chargers-Vikings game, punter Chris Kluwe did.
Without using a whiteboard. (Yet.)
“The NFL really needs to kiss and make up with the refs,” Kluwe said on Twitter. “These replacements are horrible. Frankly, it’s kind of embarrassing.”
Again, if we accept that the NFL has hired the best of the best officials to serve as the collective crew that is now locked out, the NFL necessarily is using something less than the best of the best now.
“I’m sure they’re trying hard, but they’re just not good,” Kluwe said. “So many blown calls tonight in both directions.”
The game included an obvious fumble by Vikings running back Lex Hilliard that wasn’t called a fumble and an obvious interception by Chargers defensive back DeAndrew Pressley that wasn’t called an interception. In both cases, Chargers coach Norv Turner had to throw the red flag. In both cases, the call on the field was overturned.
Turner bit his tongue after the game. Kluwe didn’t. And while the NFL can fine coaches who pop off about the replacements, players can say whatever they want.
More should. Whether you’re as concerned for your safety as NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith says you should be or whether you’re concerned that games will be decided by something other than the play on the field, stand up and speak up.