Should veteran NFL referee Pete Morelli be banned from officiating Eagles games? More than 23,000 people say yes.
After watching Morelli and his crew penalize the Eagles dramatically more than their opponent for a fourth straight Eagles game the crew has officiated, Will Philbrick of Little Rock, Arkansas, went to change.org and created a petition to present to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell complaining about Morelli’s track record working Eagles games.
As of Sunday morning, the petition had 23,074 signatures.
The Eagles beat the Panthers and Morelli Thursday night in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The Eagles were penalized 10 times for 126 yards, and the Panthers just once for one yard. It was the first time in NFL history one team was assessed 120 or more penalty yards and its opponent was assessed fewer than 10 penalty yards.
This is nothing new.
Morelli also worked the Eagles-Lions game in Detroit last year, when the Eagles were penalized 14 times for 111 yards and the Lions twice for 18 yards.
In fact, in the last four Eagles games that Morelli has worked, the Eagles have been flagged 40 times for 396 yards and their opponents just eight times for 74 yards.
"NFL Referee Pete Morelli has a clear and statistically obvious bias against the Philadelphia Eagles," the petition reads. "Over the last four games that he has officiated that the Eagles were playing in, the Eagles were flagged a total of 40 times for 396 yards, while the Eagles opponent in those games were flagged a mere 8 times for 74 yards. This is unacceptable and puts the Philadelphia Eagles at a disadvantage. Preventing Morelli from refereeing Eagles games will result in a more trustworthy and honest NFL. This will benefit the entire league and keep all claims of conspiracy to a normal level."
Morelli, 65, is in his 21st season with the NFL and his 15th as a referee.