MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe says he's had enough with these replacement officials after watching them for three weeks of preseason games.
With the regular season less than two weeks away, Kluwe took to Twitter on Friday night to call for an end to the labor dispute between the NFL and the NFL Referees Association after an ugly 12-10 loss to the San Diego Chargers.
"The NFL really needs to kiss and make up with the refs," Kluwe tweeted. "These replacements are horrible. Frankly, it's kind of embarrassing."
Referee Wayne Elliott's crew called 20 penalties in the game, including 14 against the Chargers. They had two calls overturned on review and several others that had players and coaches shaking their heads after the plays.
"I got a holding call tonight. That was awesome," Vikings defensive end Jared Allen said. "So I'll take it. Hey, that's not my concern. Everybody's got to play with the same refs. The league's going to do what the league needs to do and it'll work itself out."
It may need to happen quickly. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said earlier this week that the two sides need to reach an agreement soon in order to have full-time officials in place by the time the regular season opens on Sept. 5. If the replacement refs do need to be used in the regular season, Goodell said, "We think they'll do a very credible job."
The outspoken Kluwe disagrees. He has never been bashful about expressing his opinion, and his latest comments could earn him a fine from Goodell, who has come down hard in the past on coaches and players who have criticized officials.
"I'm sure they're trying hard, but they're just not good," Kluwe tweeted. "So many blown calls tonight in both directions."
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