NFL fines sideline official game check for obscenities
During the fourth quarter the 4th November game, Tony Corrente was discussing the spotting of the ball with the other game officials following a penalty against the Indianapolis Colts when he unconsciously left his microphone open. Subsequently, Tony Corrente yelled an obscenity at a co-worker, who blew the whistle to talk regarding the spot after the game officials had already conferred on the call.
"There was, (expletive)," Tony Corrente shouted out.
While NFL game officials often indulge in a little swearing due to the high-stress nature of the job, Tony Corrente made a fatal mistake in leaving his microphone on. This ultimately meant that all the fans in the stands and audience viewing the game on air heard the Tony Corrente’s questionable choice of words.
"Ooooh!" CBS play-by-play announcer Kevin Harlan swooped-in to quickly fix the mistake. "We'd like to apologize for that. He didn't know his microphone was on."
Although it was an unintentional technical fault on Tony Corrente’s behalf that led to the on-air broadcast of the obscenity, the NFL still holds its game officials to high standards of conduct. So, the NFL came down on Tony Corrente with a heavy fine hoping that eliminate the possibility of a repetition of the incident. Consequently, Tony Corrente will lose his game check for the on-air obscenity spewing incident.
“In the fourth quarter of the game, Corrente inadvertently left his microphone on during a conference with members of the officiating crew,” the NFL released in a statement announcing NFL officiating director Carl Johnson’s decision to fine Tony Corrente for the transgression.
“"During that conference, Corrente used obscenities that were clearly audible to the network television audience and to the crowd at Lucas Oil Stadium.”
"This conduct is inappropriate for a game official," the statement further read. “"Corrente has apologized to the Colts' organization and we are confident it will not happen again."
Tony Corrente joined the NFL officiating crew in 1995. Typically a game official of Tony Corrente’s level of experience (18 seasons) earns approximately $9,000 for officiating a single game.
The NFL rarely comes down this hard on its officials, but it has surely set an example for other referees regarding the model conduct the NFL demands of its game officials.