NFL puts ref Roy Ellison on administrative leave after Jerry Hughes allegation

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Bills defensive end Jerry Hughes accused official Roy Ellison of calling him a b—h during Sunday’s game, and now the NFL has taken the first step toward disciplining, or even firing, Ellison.

Ellison was placed on administrative leave, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.

The NFL suspended Ellison for a game in 2013 because he used abusive language toward a player. And Ellison had previously been warned about using abusive language toward players after a prior allegation. So this is at least the third time such an incident has taken place.

That may make it hard for Ellison to keep his job. If a suspension wasn’t enough to get Ellison to treat players with respect, he may not have the temperament to be an NFL official.

Ellison, who fills the role of umpire on the officiating crew, is considered one of the best in the league. Last season he worked the Super Bowl, an assignment officials don’t get unless they’ve been highly graded during that season. He’s also a full-time employee, unlike most officials who are part-timers. But that’s not a guarantee that he’ll keep his job after yet another allegation of inappropriate conduct on the field.

70 responses to “NFL puts ref Roy Ellison on administrative leave after Jerry Hughes allegation

  1. An NFL player actually complained about this type of language…and the NFL put the ref on leave for it? Please.

  2. ayokel21 says:

    December 4, 2018 at 6:53 pm

    Give me a break. The pansification of America continues
    —-
    Two points to your well thought out post.
    First: Its not about what he said, it’s the glaring issue that by calling a player a derogatory name you are wiping away any semblance of being an impartial ref. You’ve now inserted yourself directly into the game against one player. It’s a very bad look. Any play he calls against Hughes, or even the Bill’s can now be viewed under that microscope.
    Second: Calling someone names is not manly, not even close. In fact it is an absolute punk move.

  3. So this guy gets fired for calling him a female dog name… yet Child Beaters, Rapests, and Woman Beaters (Foster) get to stay in the NFL making money?

    *drew carey* “WELCOME TO THE NFL, THE SHOW WHERE EVERYTHINGS MADE UP AND RULES REALLY DON’T MATTER.”

  4. Okay….this guy had a job to do, just like the rest of us….if you cannot do your job, without adding inappropriate jargon to the mix, then you probably won’t have that job for long. Regardless of the road blocks, and abuse we take doing our jobs, those things are obviously a part of our jobs…..there are plenty of things that all of want to say, but can’t, in our own jobs…..I guess this gentleman has not quite figured that out yet. Half or your peers…(a team…) is not going to agree with what you have to say, in most cases….if they exceed the limits of their ability to protest what they disagree with….you can penalize them yet again….I see no reason for an animated dialogue to ensue on behalf of the referee side of things….borrow a flag from your co-worker,if you have already thrown yours!

  5. Remind me the last time a head coach got suspended for some of the things you can clearly see they say to refs when they call a penalty on their team.

  6. jman967 says:
    December 4, 2018 at 7:02 pm
    ayokel21 says:

    December 4, 2018 at 6:53 pm

    Give me a break. The pansification of America continues
    —-
    Two points to your well thought out post.
    First: Its not about what he said, it’s the glaring issue that by calling a player a derogatory name you are wiping away any semblance of being an impartial ref. You’ve now inserted yourself directly into the game against one player. It’s a very bad look. Any play he calls against Hughes, or even the Bill’s can now be viewed under that microscope.
    Second: Calling someone names is not manly, not even close. In fact it is an absolute punk move.
    ——————-
    Thank you! Critical thinking is very hard for many on this site.

  7. Ellison probably isn’t smart enough to hold the position he does. I mean, how could he not know better than to hurl insults at a player? But, it does make one wonder about the collective mindset in the officiating corps.

  8. So a ref calls a player a bad word (which… I’m sure said player has NEVER called a ref anything) – suspended

    Meanwhile, another ref (or several) completely blow a false start call in the Chargers game that should’ve negated a TD – nothing

    Got it!

  9. Baseball umpires have a long glorious history of name calling and are still able to do their jobs well. Unless they can show that this dude is intentionally blowing calls against certain players what’s the problem?

  10. All the things players say to each other & to the refs & to their coaches & this is too much. Hughes was probably complaining like crazy over a hold or some junk & he was most likely told to keep it down and stop complaining, just in different terminology

  11. How dumb must you be to lose a referee job in the NFL? Its not an easy job and i know most refs are bright, but this guy seems to lack that old fashion thing called common sense.

  12. Hughes was blatantly held on one if the key plays of the game. He probably complained to this guy and was told to “stop being a bi—h” , seems to add up

  13. This is great…punks call people names…

    ————————————
    jman967 says:
    December 4, 2018 at 7:02 pm

    “Calling someone names is not manly, not even close. In fact it is an absolute punk move”

  14. Edward Halverson says:
    December 4, 2018 at 7:38 pm
    Now suspend Belichick for swearing at Thielen!

    ***************************************

    I think Thielen swore at him first, and then there is the issue of Belichick being a part of the other team, and not a part of an impartial officiating crew employed by the NFL offices. I think we’ve all seen plenty of coaches cussing on the sidelines, even towards officials, with nothing being done. But hey, it’s the Patriots, and…..muh feelins!

  15. People miss the point with this, we can’t even judge this without knowing what Hughes said first. Hughes might have gotten up in his face screaming and swearing for several minutes and then the ref told him “back off b-h” Or he might have gone “they were holding me all game man, come on” and the ref went off taunting him.

    Those are two very different connotations to actually determine fault here. We can’t say the official is now biased because he swore at a player. Officials are used as punching bags all the time by players, fans, and coaches. One occasional snap isn’t the end of the world. If it was an unwarranted response though then this makes sense.

  16. I believe the people asking what the big deal is don’t understand that the appearance of impartiality is one of the most important attribute a ref can have. If a ref went on TV calling Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, or Aaron Rodgers a b*tch I doubt members of that fan base would believe his calls against their team would be unbiased. Heck I’m not a fan of the teams those QBs play on and I would be questioning if a for example missed roughing the passer call was just a mistake or because of his opinion about the player. This type of stuff the league needs to nip in the bud.

  17. gscott104 says:
    December 4, 2018 at 7:31 pm
    So a ref calls a player a bad word (which… I’m sure said player has NEVER called a ref anything)

    ————————

    It’s an automatic ejection if he does. Are you new to this whole NFL thing?

  18. NFL refs and players have been cursing at each other for decades. This has never been a problem until the current generation showed up and suddenly it’s a horrible thing. Just one more thing that worked just fine and now is just too upsetting.

  19. A ref allegedly calls a player a bad word and there is an immediate suspension and an immediate investigation. A player gets accused of domestic violence (Hunt) and the NFL doesn’t even ask for the videotape of the incident, nor is the player suspended, until a website posts the videotape. The NFL continues to have their priorities all screwed up.

  20. gscott104 says:
    December 4, 2018 at 7:31 pm
    So a ref calls a player a bad word (which… I’m sure said player has NEVER called a ref anything) – suspended

    Meanwhile, another ref (or several) completely blow a false start call in the Chargers game that should’ve negated a TD – nothing

    Got it!
    ————–
    First, the false start had ZERO to do with the results of the play. Further, we were moving the ball just fine, had it been called we could have prob scored anyway.
    Second, the stealers were offsides MOST of the game – no calls till the final field goal.
    Third – as a stealers fan you should shut your mouth. your “one for the thumb” was at the expense of a Seahawks team that was beating the hell out of you until your yellow and black zebras stepped up.
    Fourth – the Bolts have been screwed over for years on bad calls. That’s football. Get over it, snowflake.

  21. Its not the first time this Ref has done this. He was warned he could be fired for a second time. Lucky He is just on leave for now. Once a ref starts this stuff, how could they not be influenced in calls against or just not calling a penalty when someone does something to that player player.

  22. I wonder what punishment the NFL are getting ready to hand out to Bill Belichick after his exchange with Adam Thielen. Probably 3 first round picks, a year ban and $5 million.

  23. Assuming the NFL didn’t investigate the ref who winked at Jared Goff during the Chiefs game? It was during the first quarter among the flurry of penalties. Ref was like, “don’t worry Jared, we got this,”

  24. neilpountney says:
    December 4, 2018 at 8:43 pm

    I wonder what punishment the NFL are getting ready to hand out to Bill Belichick after his exchange with Adam Thielen. Probably 3 first round picks, a year ban and $5 million.

    Thief-land had no right barking at Belicheat, who does he think he his?
    Anyone who has earn the nick name of “Evil Emperor” is no match for
    a small minion like o’ thief.

    ==============================

    Bruce Payne says:
    December 4, 2018 at 8:56 pm

    Assuming the NFL didn’t investigate the ref who winked at Jared Goff during the Chiefs game? It was during the first quarter among the flurry of penalties. Ref was like, “don’t worry Jared, we got this,”

    Naw, Naw, that was the Ref’s way of telling Goff he wanted to
    have a drink with him later sometime, and not afraid of getting
    Mr. Biscuit jealous…

  25. They should also put Hochuli jr on leave after he stood there and watched Josh Allen get pummeled on the helmet on four different occasions including a play that they almost pulled his helmet off without throwing a flag. Worst crew in the league.

  26. Some folks are saying ‘if he cant do his job’
    he is one of the highest rated Umpires in the NFL so he must be doing his job pretty well.
    they get graded like we all do.
    He just cusses a lot and the players act like they dont.
    Carry on

  27. There is a lot of whining going on in the US. IMO this is not whining. A Ref needs to be above board… or no one can trust their decisions.

  28. The suspension in 2003 was for the same thing directed at Trent Williams, who is not an easily provoked player.

    Once a ref demonstrates that they make it personal, they’ve proven they are unfit to officiate. He should be fired.

  29. Remind me the last time a head coach got suspended for some of the things you can clearly see they say to refs when they call a penalty on their team.

    The difference is that the refs hold the outcome of games in their hands and the league constantly protects the refs from any public backlash by anyone associated with the league. People call Hughes soft? These refs and umps are over protected from the league for any sort of public criticism.
    Remember when Tomlin was lauded for saying what he said even though he racked up a huge fine? Refs make horrible call after call with little ramifications for it. They should be train wrecked for acting in ways that appear to gavor one side over another

  30. It is not biased if he cusses at members of BOTH Teams! Players sometimes NEED to be Put Back in their place!!!

  31. fbwangus8736 says:
    December 4, 2018 at 8:34 pm
    Its not the first time this Ref has done this. He was warned he could be fired for a second time. Lucky He is just on leave for now. Once a ref starts this stuff, how could they not be influenced in calls against or just not calling a penalty when someone does something to that player player.
    ——————-
    Totally agree here…This official has been warned, and suspended. Now he has done it again and this time I think the NFL has to fire this guy. Obviously he didn’t learn from the first time.

  32. ayokel21 says: Give me a break. The pansification of America continues

    joparks2012 says: An NFL player actually complained about this type of language…and the NFL put the ref on leave for it? Please.

    etc etc
    —————————

    I would wholeheartedly agree w/all these statements EXCEPT for the fact that players have to treat refs with the UTMOST respect or they get into all kinds of trouble too. THey can’t even complain about a bad call Without receiving a substantial fine in the mail.

    So, if the refs are going to be protected to the extent that they are, then it’s really only fair the players are treated with the same level of respect and get the same protections as the refs.

    It shouldn’t be such a zero tolerance thing though. The words should have to be a bit more vulgar/abusive than b*tch. Bringing moms into the conversation, using racial slurs etc would make the rule a lot easier to swallow.

  33. There’s an old NFL Films clip showing head coaches screaming at and calling officials names. My favorite was the Bills elderly head coach Marv Levy — who never used profanity — screaming at an official and saying, “you’re an over-officious jerk!!!!” I wonder if they’d have suspended Levy for that today.
    But the best story of all was when former Bucs head coach John McKay was approached by an NFL front office guy and asked if he would donate to a fund to pay for the funeral of a former NFL official who had fallen on hard times and passed away. His family had no money to even bury him. McKay asked how much he wanted and the NFL guy said, “most people are giving $20”. McKay reached into his wallet and pulled out a $20 bill and handed it to him. Then he pulled out another $20 bill and said, “here — bury two of the sunuvabitches!”

  34. I in no way condone how Hughes went about his confrontation but the ref was clearly in the wrong if it was true and anyone saying otherwise is simply blind to the fact.

    The referees should be the most impartial and mature people on the field at any given time. It’d be like your manager at work referring to you in a derogatory way- that’s unacceptable in the workplace.

  35. So two blatant blown no-calls Sunday night and it’s crickets…meanwhile this ref may or may not have called this guy a name and they’re gonna fire him?! unreal

  36. So amongst his peers think theres any “real talk” with Hughes about just letting it go? No coach going forward gonna want that on their teams….gonna be seen as ‘sawft’….

  37. He’d been reprimanded before this and with the amount of microphones around the field it’d be almost impossible to be habitually saying stuff without the league knowing about it. My guess is that in typical NFL fashion they knew he was a problem but decided to just wait until something became public to take action.

  38. Some people lack any sense of perspective and nuance. Officials missing calls are irrelevant to this situation. Players and coaches cursing and trash talking have nothing to do with this situation.

    This specific incident involves alleged misconduct by a referee directed at a game participant. How this incident is, or should be, handled has nothing to do with the other situations above.

  39. This league is at an all time low for officiating quality, with calls seeming near arbitrary and generally favouring the team likely to be a bigger complainer (the higher ranked team or the home team).

    If Ellison is really grading high in getting calls right I don’t think the league should care much what he calls the players. They need more full time officials who grade highly, not fewer, and they apparently can’t find new ones.

  40. My best guess is that if Hughes gets held he doesn’t get the call next time…… you reap what you sew……

  41. jman967 says:
    December 4, 2018 at 7:02 pm
    ayokel21 says:

    December 4, 2018 at 6:53 pm

    Give me a break. The pansification of America continues
    —-
    Two points to your well thought out post.
    First: Its not about what he said, it’s the glaring issue that by calling a player a derogatory name you are wiping away any semblance of being an impartial ref. You’ve now inserted yourself directly into the game against one player. It’s a very bad look. Any play he calls against Hughes, or even the Bill’s can now be viewed under that microscope.
    Second: Calling someone names is not manly, not even close. In fact it is an absolute punk move.

    ———————
    I would agree with you if this had happened on the field. But this happened after the game back in the area leading to the dressing rooms. And Hughes went to confront the ref not the other way around. Im not going to condone the name calling because its not what I would have said, but I dont think the ref is still required to stay polite if an angry player is coming at him after the game. I think there should be some questions about Hughes’s behavior added to this at the very least. It sounds very two way street to me.

  42. hat may make it hard for Ellison to keep his job. If a suspension wasn’t enough to get Ellison to treat players with respect, he may not have the temperament to be an NFL official.
    =======================================

    Sounds like Ellison would be a perfect Major League Baseball umpire then with that temperament.

  43. It’s not about who said what, it’s about the refs being IMPARTIAL. This ref was not impartial, and he opened himself up to people thinking he could be biased against the Bills. It’s sad that this actually has to be explained to people. It’s not about what was said, or who said it. The Thielen/Belichek thing has nothing to do with this situation. Neither of those 2 are supposed to be impartial. They are supposed to win games any way possible for their respective teams. A referee’s job is to be impartial and call the penalties correctly. That’s it. If you can’t do that, then I can see why the NFL did what they did, and I think the decision was warranted.

  44. Couple of things:

    1) If ppl think that the ref making this personal affects his judgement, what do you think happens when 70,000 fans are booing him and he has to make or not make a call? I’d think it would affect a ref much more when a whole stadium is riding him more so than a single player.
    2) The best part of this is Hughes Three Stooges act afterwards when he’s asked about his comments that he’s going “to catch him” and something’s going to happen in the tunnel – he’s all like “Who me? What did I say? Show me the video…” so in his mind – it only exists as proof if there’s video evidence. Good God.

  45. I encourage anyone talking about impartiality and how it’s unprofessional to make a remark to a player to go ahead and watch an NHL game or YouTube video. Refs mix it up, swear at and jaw with the players in that league quite a bit.

  46. About time players start to stand up to the officials. Especially players who get the short end of the stick and never have calls go their way. Refs should call games consistently and not favor the superstars.

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