The NFLRA Statement On Referee Roy Ellison, Who Was Put On Administrative Leave For Insulting A Player, Accuses Bills' Jerry Hughes Of Being A Big Old Meanie
Whoa, whoa, whoa. Threatening words? A history of abusive language? From the dude whose job description calls for him to engage in hand-to-hand/skull-to-skull combat on a play-by-play basis at one of the most violent positions in professional murder ball? And towards the whistle blowers that tend to have an inconsistent but direct impact on the outcome of the game? Why, I NEVER!
Look, other than his incendiary postgame response to (allegedly) being called a 'bitch', I have no idea what Jerry Hughes said to NFL referee Roy Ellison. More importantly, however, I don't particularly care what else Jerry Hughes said to NFL referee Roy Ellison, because Roy Ellison accepted the occupational hazard that is being a lightning rod for any and all verbal abuse when he decided to go into the field of disciplining impassioned athletic freaks while they try to tackle the air out of each other's lungs.
If his, or the NFLRA's, defense against escalating some run-of-the-mill frustration into an actual altercation is, more or less, "...but the hyper-competitive quarterback terrorizer that was hopped up on adrenaline after coming within mere inches of winning in the most physically taxing of sport was a big meanie first!" then you can strike it from the record. It's entirely possible that what Jerry Hughes said prior was fine-worthy and the ensuing threat was unquestionably a bit much, but the most emotionally uninvested parties on what's basically a battlefield can't be entering into wars of words with combatants without expecting to draw every ugly ounce of their ire. You want to call that a double standard then be my guest, because the standards should be a bit different for players partaking in an afternoon long test of their will and the officials who are expected to objectively block out all the noise while regulating it.