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Head of NFL Referees Association throws flag on fans who think refs are biased against their team

04 January 2015: Referee Peter Morelli (135) during the second half of a NFC Wild-Card game between the Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. Dallas won 24-20. (Photo by Ray Carlin/Icon Sportswire/Corbis via Getty Images)

The NFL Referees Association has called a personal foul on fans who think referees might be biased against their teams.

NFLRA executive director Scott Green released a statement Thursday shooting down suggestions that his organization’s members are biased against any team, according to ProFootballTalk.com.

“Claims like these demonstrate a fundamental lack of knowledge about NFL officiating,” Green said in the statement. “NFL officials are graded on every call made in every game. Missing a single one can hurt his or her ranking and may be the difference between working in the postseason or not. These recent attempts to sensationalize statistics and create click-bait headlines lack important context.

“Without the proper perspective, the information being pushed is completely misguided. The passion of NFL fans and teams are a big part of what makes the game so great. However, it’s no excuse for the irresponsible and baseless claims we’ve seen lately. NFL officials are committed to upholding the integrity of the game and do so every week.”

The performance of the officiating crew led by Pete Morelli had Philadelphia Eagles fans crying foul after a Thursday Night Football game last week. While the Eagles won the game, beating the Carolina Panthers 28-23, fans were incensed over the lopsided number of penalties called against Philadelphia, which was flagged 10 times to just one for the Panthers.

After the game, one fan circulated an online petition asking the NFL to ban Morelli from officiating future Eagles games. More than 72,000 people signed it.