Semi-pro football coach, players sound off on Packers final play controversy
MILWAUKEE — The controversy and debate over the game-ending call made by replacement referees during Monday night’s Green Bay Packers vs. Seattle Seahawks game continued Wednesday, September 26th. This, as indications were made that the National Football League and the referees’ union may be close to a deal in the ongoing lockout.
ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported Wednesday the league and officials were close to a deal, but Sports Illustrated senior writer Peter King wrote that a deal was not imminent, according to a referee who received an e-mail from one of the negotiators. The source told King that there was progress.
There are four main points the two sides are discussing: pay, retirement plans, more officials and full-time status for some officials.
Meanwhile, Green Bay Packers’ fans and those who play the game continued to express their frustration over the finish of Monday night’s game in Seattle. Some football coaches and players said they can appreciate the frustration Packers’ players experienced Monday night, but don’t care for how some showed their anger.
Jimmy Wellman plays on Milwaukee County’s Renegades semi-pro football team. Wellman says he grew up loving football — ever since he could catch a ball. Wellman says the final play of Monday night’s game was frustrating — to say the least!
“You can’t make a call where it decides the game. I mean, that’s just horrible. The Packers have a bad taste in their mouths, I can imagine,” Wellman said.
Renegades players gathered at Milwaukee’s Kinnickinnic Sports Center Wednesday, where Wellman and others questioned what has come out of the mouths and minds of some professional football players. Many Green Bay Packers’ players took to Twitter and other social media sites to air their dismay over Monday night’s game, and the replacement referees.
Packers’ T.J. Lang’s expletive-laden tweets are an example.
“He could have toned down the language quite a bit. I mean, he could have worded it completely different,” Wellman said.
Earlier Wednesday, the NFL announced it will not fine players for critical remarks made on Twitter toward the replacement officials and the NFL.
Renegades’ President and Head Coach, Patrick Hansen says the fact that fines are not being levied against players for their comments is something of an admission of guilt by the NFL. He says the league should be blamed for what’s happened to the game — not the replacement referees.
“The NFL is fully responsible for their training and any issues that they have — like Monday night,” Hansen said.
Ultimately, Hansen says professional football players should consider who is watching and listening to them, both on and off the field.
“These guys are supposed to be role models to all of us, but to kids as well,” Hansen said.
Hansen says after games, his team’s protocol mandates any issues players have with the refs be communicated to him so he can address them with the Northern Lights League President, and the Director of Officials.
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