Twitter’s official rules say a user “may not publish or post direct, specific threats of violence against others.” While some users may have bent but not broken the rules following last night’s Monday Night Football game between the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks, there seemed to be a lynch mob out for NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and the league's replacement officials following a highly controversial finish to an otherwise-exciting game, which was ultimately decided by the replacement refs.
It was a wild finish to a hard-hitting Monday Night Football game, with Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers scoring a late fourth quarter touchdown with 8:44 to go in the game to move ahead of Seattle 12-7. With just minutes to go, after the sturdy Seahawks defense stood up the Packers offense to get the ball back, rookie quarterback Russell Wilson marched his Seattle squad down the field and had three shots in the endzone to end the game. It was the last pass of the game, made with 0:00 on the clock, that will be remembered as one of the most bizarre and controversial finishes to a regular NFL game.
With the regular referees locked out, replacement refs from local high schools and small state colleges were forced to make a crucial call on a final Hail Mary play from Seattle, which appeared to be partially caught with one hand by Seahawks receiver Golden Tate, but held to the chest and intercepted in the endzone by the Packers’ safety M.D. Jennings. In the end, two replacement refs ran immediately to the ball, and held up differing signals. One man held up the sign for a touchdown, the other the sign for a touchback, and an interception.
The ruling on the field was a touchdown, and after a minutes-long official review, the ruling on the field stood. The Packers were in shock, especially since the replay clearly showed that the ball was in the hands of their safety. Yet, Seattle was celebrating on the sidelines. Green Bay headed off the field before they could kick the extra point to finish the game, even though that extra point was pointless anyway.
The Packers tried to hold their tongues in the press conferences and interviews after the game. But fans of the NFL sure didn’t. In fact, some of their language was downright threatening. You be the judge.
This collection of tweets, Twitter users talk about assassinating NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and the replacement officials:
While the NFL Referees Association continues to meet with league negotiators, Commissioner Goodell has recently decided to get involved with the talks, as sources told Sports Illustrated that Goodell participated in negotiations with the official referees last Tuesday and Wednesday. At the time, no new face-to-face negotiations were scheduled following the meetings, but many now hope after this highly-controversial finish decided by replacement refs that the NFL and its referees can come to a deal.
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