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."

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide — from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Grant Wahl, Andy Staples and more — delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.