NFL says Eastin passed background check


Shannon Eastin has become the most talked-about replacement official, initially because she’ll be the first female to officiate an NFL game.

She also has participated in the World Series of Poker, which has prompted the NFL Referees Association to plan an assault on her credentials.

The league has issued a statement to PFT explaining that Eastin’s credentials are acceptable.  “The NFL does extensive background checks on prospective officials, including the current group of replacement officials,” NFL spokesman Michael Signora said.  “All of them have passed the NFL’s rigorous screening process, including Shannon Eastin.  Past participation in an event such as a poker tournament does not disqualify a person from consideration as an NFL game official.”

That said, it’s clear that, going forward, participating in a poker tournament is something that the league would regard as a violation of the gambling policy.  Signora said that Eastin would not be permitted to participate in a poker tournament during the season.  In the offseason (i.e., after the Pro Bowl and before the start of the preseason), she she would have an obligation to inform the NFL within 24 hours of ny entry into a casino.  Also, Signora said that Eastin would be prohibited from taking part “in a professional gambling event, such as the World Series of Poker, at any time of the year.”

Unless she plans on participating in a poker tournament during the season, the issue becomes relevant only if the lockout lasts for a full season.  Or if Eastin eventually is hired to be a regular official.

13 responses to “NFL says Eastin passed background check

  1. I wonder if the Referee Association is as strict about their referees passing the eye exam. A lot of ’em look like they need to retake it.

  2. The locked out refs are coming across as very petty in this whole thing. None of us really know the details of the negotiations so it hard to really say if the NFL is screwing them or not, but the NFLRA is trying to wage a PR war in the same fashion that the NFLPA did last year, and it is failing. Few people really care, and many of us see this as a breath of fresh air.

    And their constant whining about the replacements and nit-picking them to death is just making them look worse.

  3. Is it the position of the NFLRA that this lady should have stayed out of a legal poker tourney on the off chance that they would get locked out and she would get the offer of a lifetime? This is getting very silly. It was legal, had nothing to do with pro sports and she was not under contract. This sounds petty.

    They really should stick to the performance issues. The moment a questionable call is made against a popular team they have a shot at PR traction. They will only get that shot if they haven’t totally discredited themselves with the public by then. Giving the NFL easy ammo is stupid.

  4. Shannon Eastin hasn’t been the same since she tried to follow up “My Baby Takes The Morning Train (9 to 5)” with “Sugar Walls” in the 80’s. Last time I checked, the WSOP was legal in Nevada, and had nothing whatsoever to do with sports gambling. The focus should remain on replacement refs vs. NFL refs, not on gender or sideshow crap.

  5. Can’t wait for the season to start, for nobody to notice any difference in the officiating (can it really get much worse?) and for the NFLRA to be SOL at that point.

  6. Yeah, like none of the regular NFL officials have ever participated in a poker game, or pulled the handle of a slot machine, or bought a lottery ticket, or any other form of gambling.

    We’re supposed to buy that?

    Snap back to reality and negotiate in good faith.

  7. “Who the hell cares she played poker. If playing poker for money is not allowed then scratch tickets and local lottery shouldn’t be allowed.”

    I don’t know why I continue to tortue myself by reading these comments.

    Here’s why it matters, nitwit. A ref goes to Vegas and gambles big — and loses big. “Uh oh,” they think, “I’m suddenly in big debt and in over my head.”

    That’s a sport’s league’s worst nightmare — an official with a gambling debt. It’s a massive moral hazard. Officials have a “Get out of jail free card” around their neck every single week during NFL season — their whistle. Got a huge gambling debt? Bet big on the game you’re officiating next week and conveniently interpret those “judgement” calls to coincide with your betting action. Or maybe the loan shark you’re in deep with tells you to make sure those Packer receivers don’t get any whistles for pass interference next week. Etc.

    Yeah, lottery tickets are “gambling” — but you generally don’t lose thousands on lottery tickets in one weekend. It’s a slow burn. And yeah, the stock market can be unpredictable also. But I’ve never heard of a stock broker threatening to break the legs of a client that just lost big.

    Seriously. Come on people. I know “Down with the unions!!!!” is practically a mantra around here (and not one I disagree with, by the way), but it doesn’t mean you have to be a complete knuckle head and totally ignore logic and reasonableness.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!