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Former Packers LB Clay Matthews Fined for Tweet Criticizing Refs

Apparently Clay Matthews slept with a ref’s mom and/or sister at some point because the guy just can’t catch a break when it comes to the NFL’s officiating. This time it comes in the form of an opinion he shared and not something that happened on the field.

In case you live under a rock, there was a lot of criticism towards the refs following the Packers vs Lions Monday Night Football game in Week 6. Two costly illegal-hands-to-the-face penalties(among other questionable calls) against the Detroit Lions DE Troy Flowers triggered a lot of controversy on social media — although one of the two looked perfectly reasonable after re-watching from different angles. These sorts of things get amplified when it is a MNF game and the viewership is much higher than your average Sunday afternoon game.

Matthews’ beef with the refs goes back much farther than that MNF game, but with so many people focused on the officiating so far this season, he saw it as a good opportunity to voice his concern. Unfortunately, the NFL did not approve of him sharing his opinion.

Although, to be fair, it does put refs in future Los Angeles Rams games in an awkward position considering that future calls may be misconstrued as retaliation for this opinion. Then again, we all know the refs have had it out for Clay for some time now.

Anyone that has followed the game of football for long knows that these things sometimes benefit your team and other times you are the recipient of bad calls. Despite Lions’ fans whining all week, there is no conspiracy against any team when it comes to bad calls. I would argue that Matthews, although making a reasonable point in his statement, should have at least saved his criticism for the off-season. For anyone harping over free speech, that amendment protects you from the federal government and not private entities like the National Football League.

Clay Matthews with MVS

Jul 26, 2018; Ashwaubenon, WI, USA; Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews (52) talks with wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling (83) during training camp practice at Ray Nitschke Field. Adam Wesley/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin via USA TODAY NETWORK

Jason Parker

I'm Just Here So I Won't Get Fined



  1. MJ October 20, 2019

    He is right to an extent. The league blindly sides with their refs. They don’t admit wrong calls like those roughing-the-passer calls against Matthews, even when that will not draw a flag now. Is he wrong for calling for accountability?

    1. Kato October 20, 2019

      Exactly. Other fans of the game are seeing the exact same thing

  2. Kato October 20, 2019

    You forgot to mention lonely boy

  3. PF4L October 20, 2019

    First…Good call JP regarding the lesson on free speech. It’s equivalent to the ignorance of people who cry that people should be deemed innocent until proven guilty. Yes, people are innocent until proven guilty, but that only applies in the matter of law, not public opinion.

    I’m proud of Clay (sans the end of the Seattle game.) He’s been screwed by bad calls so many times he should speak up. Clay has made a ton of cash in his career, and my guess is he was smart enough to not piss it away. A $12,500 fine has almost zero effect on him. That would be like me having to pay a $15 fine, big deal. I’d imagine there are hundreds, if not 1,000 of NFL players that are glad he said it.
    In related…..I’d like to think the NFL has disciplines in place concerning referee’s performance. I’m positive they keep records of bad calls, calls that got reversed, etc. Ref stats, so to speak. The NFL, in the interest of transparency and their fan base integrity, should be more forthcoming about referee’s performance’s and disciplines. I’m pretty sure if a poll was taken over the entire NFL fan base, the majority would have a negative view on referee’s overall. I’ve always said the refs have a tough job and get it right most of the time. But if players and team’s are disciplined, why are the referee’s exempt?
    Anyway, checks and balances, well done Clay.

  4. Mitch Anthony October 20, 2019

    And the great officiating continues. Did you see Jake Kumerow commit that offensive pass interference? Yeah, neither did I.