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Sherman, Norman, and Newton separately call out officiating

3 marquee players take on officiating from Sunday.




Week 8

Richard Sherman, Josh Norman, and Cam Newton were visibly upset today at the officiating in their games.

The Seahawks-Saints game totaled 13 penalties, 11 against Seattle. In a postgame interview, Sherman had a couple of comments on the officiating, posted by Seahawks beat writer Bob Condotta. Sherman added that “I think they needed a first down on a crucial drive and the refs made sure they got it.” Sherman was upset that the refs were letting the Saints “not play within the rules” and added that “even at home we rarely get calls.” 

Earlier in the day in London, Redskins defensive back Josh Norman also expressed his frustration at third year official Brad Freeman. Norman was flagged five times in a 27-27 tie with the Bengals, including a pass interference penalty on a 40-yard A.J. Green touchdown, rendering the flag a moot point. Norman took to the podium to vent his frustration by asking: “Who is official 88? I’ve gotta know. He sucked. I’m just putting it out there. We play a physical game, they know that. We come here, international game, it all goes out the window. … He needs to be reprimanded.” Norman was seen several times arguing with Freeman but would not say what was said between the two.

Per Pro Football Talk, the NFL is not expected to fine Josh Norman for his comments. [Update 11/5: Norman was fined $25,000, most likely since he specifically singled out an official’s performance, rather than a broad complaint about officiating.]


Lastly, Panthers quarterback Cam Newton blasted officials following the Panthers 30-20 win over Arizona, saying he is fed up with all non-calls on late or illegal hits he’s endured throughout his career.  At the podium, Newton stated that “It’s really taking the fun out of the game for me. At times I don’t even feel safe. And enough is enough. I plan on talking to Commissioner Goodell about this. And I don’t know what I have to do.” The hit that set him off was a hit below the knees late in the third quarter. According to Panthers beat writer Joseph Person, Newton was visibly venting his frustrations on the sidelines about that hit after the drive. Newton added:

The story of my life ever since I came in is, “Oh, oh, well, we missed that one. I’m sorry. I’ll try to get it.” That’s bullcrap. As a player in this league, if we do something stupid we get fined. If you do something derogatory to somebody else, we get fined. I just can’t keep accepting, “Oh, we missed that one.” Or “I apologize for doing that.” Or “I didn’t see it.” That’s horsecrap.

The NFL has made it clear that players and coaches shall refrain from public criticism of officials that questions their integrity and players and coaches can be fined for disparaging remarks. It is not yet known if Sherman or Newton will be fined for their comments.
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