NFLRA expects Roy Ellison to be cleared

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As the NFL investigates allegations of verbal abuse made against official Roy Ellison, it’s important to remember that Ellison has rights. Those rights are represented by the NFL Referees Association.

“We fully expect the NFL’s review to clear Roy Ellison,” NFLRA executive director Scott Green said in a statement. “Video from last week’s game shows he was verbally threatened by a player who has a well-documented history of abusive language and inappropriate actions towards our officials. While we are disappointed that the NFL has yet to address that aspect of the incident, we look forward to working with the League during its review and will ensure that Roy’s rights are protected during this process.”

The player in question is Bills defensive end Jerry Hughes. The league fined Hughes more than $23,000 for using abusive language toward an official in 2015. He was fined more than $22,000 a year earlier for the same thing.

Hughes wasn’t suspended for confronting Ellison, but Hughes may still be fined.

Ellison has been placed on administrative leave. He previously was suspended for using abusive language toward a player.

The NFLRA will have the ability to file a grievance as to any action taken by the league against Ellison.

10 responses to “NFLRA expects Roy Ellison to be cleared

  1. Yeah, equity doesn’t seem to be the aim here. While it’s true the officials need to remain above the fray and keep their cool, suspending an official for an alleged offense that players are simply fined a pittance for isn’t even fair. Players should be prohibited from insulting or verbally abusing any official, either on or off the field, and the punishment for doing so should be severe enough to put a stop to it. Same for coaches.

  2. Players should not get away with threatening an official. It might be different if the players could be relied upon to just be blowing off steam but we know that’s not always the case.

  3. What I don’t understand is why the NFL didn’t take some action against Hughes? Are they afraid of the NFLPA? If there is some audio of what Hughes said the NFL could end up with Egg Foo Yung all over their face again.

  4. The situations are not the same. Hughes’s abusive language towards the officials does not effect the integrity of the game. In contrast, abusive language by an official towards a player presents at the least an appearance of impropriety, i.e., that the official will be predisposed to not call the game impartially.

  5. Players should be flagged or ejected if they abuse officials. But that is really a totally separate topic. Officials very job is to be impartial no matter what. Even if called names they shouldn’t be escalating things or calling players names right back. Thus, I don’t see how Ellison could be “cleared” merely by video showing that Hughes said something to him first. It’s the same concept that if a player takes a swing at another the second guy doesn’t get off free because he didn’t swing first. They both get flagged.

  6. cardinealsfan20 says:
    December 5, 2018 at 12:13 pm
    The situations are not the same. Hughes’s abusive language towards the officials does not effect the integrity of the game. In contrast, abusive language by an official towards a player presents at the least an appearance of impropriety, i.e., that the official will be predisposed to not call the game impartially.
    +++++++

    Agreed, mostly. The integrity of the game depends on the officials being impartial. It also depends on their authority. Any actions that undermine their authority impact their ability to remain impartial. Even though an official refrains from retaliating in kind toward a player’s verbal abuse, it strains credulity to think it doesn’t affect his disposition toward said player. And of course, same is true of coaches. So if impartiality and integrity are the goal, then challenging their authority must be prohibited.

  7. The Keener Observer says:
    December 5, 2018 at 12:36 pm
    cardinealsfan20 says:
    December 5, 2018 at 12:13 pm
    ———————————
    I agree with both of you. The one thing other commenters seem to miss on this subject is that Ellison was WARNED, did it again and got SUSPENDED for a game(?), and then DID IT AGAIN!

    I know that at my job if you mess up you get a verbal warning, do it again, a written warning, do it again, bye bye.

  8. eddievortex says:
    December 5, 2018 at 12:41 pm
    The Keener Observer says:
    December 5, 2018 at 12:36 pm
    cardinealsfan20 says:
    December 5, 2018 at 12:13 pm
    ———————————
    I agree with both of you. The one thing other commenters seem to miss on this subject is that Ellison was WARNED, did it again and got SUSPENDED for a game(?), and then DID IT AGAIN!

    I know that at my job if you mess up you get a verbal warning, do it again, a written warning, do it again, bye bye.
    ++++++++

    Good point.

  9. Love you guys talking about flags and ejections, I guess you aren’t aware this encounter took place in the tunnel after the game was over. I can see it now, Official throws flag in the tunnel and at the start of their next game the officials will announce a 15 yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Buffalo that will be imposed after the kickoff. Wouldn’t that be hilarious?

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