A user claiming to be an Atlanta Falcons fan has started a petition for the NFL to fire a referee after their team lost to the New Orleans Saints last week.
A user named Blake Sorrell started the petition on Change.org asking NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to fire veteran NFL official Pete Morelli. The petition has garnered more than 2,800 signatures since it was started on Christmas Eve. The petition topped 2,500 signatures Friday morning.
“I believe that all of us could benefit from the immediate removal of Morelli and every one of his crew members to send a message to NFL officials that corruption within the officiating group will not be tolerated,” Sorrell writes.
The petition cites lopsided penalties against the Philadelphia Eagles in their game against the Carolina Panthers earlier this year. According to NFLpenalties.com, 10 penalties were called against the Eagles for a total of 126 yards. Carolina was penalized once.
Atlanta was called for 10 penalties against the Saints on Dec. 24, for a total of 91 yards. New Orleans was penalized three times for a total of 30 yards.
In the two teams' first meeting on Thursday Night Football on Dec. 7, the Falcons were penalized 4 times for a total of 35 yards, and the Saints were penalized 11 times for a total of 87 yards. Clete Blakeman officiated the first game.
The petition claims that Morelli plays favorites for certain NFL teams and has a personal vendetta against others.
“Blatant bad calls,” one user who signed the petition wrote. “It was like he was paid to make calls to benefit the Saints. Not happy. Even if I wasn't a Falcon's fan I would sign this petition.”
“Let's start the New Year off on the right foot by canning this clown!” another user wrote.