Roger Goodell Makes His Thoughts Clear About NFL Referees

Referee Shawn Smith #14 looks on prior to a game between the Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on September 17, 2023 in Foxborough, Massachusetts.
(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)


Being a referee is not an easy job, and lately, that has especially been true in the NFL.

Referees in the NFL have been criticized over the last couple of years for a number of reasons, and fans and pundits have zeroed in on a couple of issues in particular.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell defended his officials, saying “consistency is the No. 1 thing you want out of officiating,” while adding they have been doing a good job, per Lindsay Jones.

One thing critics have got on referees for lately is roughing the passer penalties, which seem to be called with greater frequency than in the past.

There have been a number of questionable roughing the passer penalties called where there was either a “normal” amount of contact after the pass or even a minimal amount of contact made.

Some also feel pass interference is called too often, especially ever since the league tightened the rules regarding contact made on an eligible receiver a handful of years ago.

In last year’s Super Bowl, there was a controversial holding penalty called against the Philadelphia Eagles’ James Bradberry just inside of the two-minute warning that was followed by the game-winning field goal by Harrison Butker.

Plenty felt the penalty shouldn’t have been called and basically handed the world championship to the Chiefs, although Bradberry himself admitted after the game that he was guilty of holding.

The reality is that referees in any sport will always have to endure some criticism, especially from fans of the losing team in any given game.

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