Replacement ref for Saints-Panthers game replaced because of Facebook page

Sunday September 16th, 2012

A replacement official has been replaced for Sunday's Saints-Panthers game. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

The NFL replaced a replacement ref for Sunday's game between the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers because he had pictures on Facebook, including a few of him tailgating at a Saints preseason game in August, that led the league to believe he is unfit to officiate the game, according to ESPN's Chris Mortensen:

A league executive conceded, at the very least, "an appearance of impropriety" warranted Sunday's action.

Brian Stropolo was assigned to the game as a sideline judge. The league wasn't made aware until Sunday morning that Stropolo is a Saints fan.

After working a Week 1 game between the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys, Stropolo posted to his Facebook page, "Thanks to everyone for all the support. The crew did a great job tonight. Next stop September 16th at Carolina vs the Saints." Comments in response to that status included, "Hey, now be nice with those yellow flags for our Saints!!" and "That's awesome you get to be an official for a Saints game! I didn't think they would let you since your from Louisiana."

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