Jerome Simpson (USA Today Sports Images)
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jerome Simpson claimed that an unnamed game official from Sunday's Vikings-Philadelphia Eagles game made questionable comments toward Vikings players, according to the Pioneer Press.
Simpson did not single out the official by name but indicated it was the one who blew the whistle on him for taunting with 10:14 remaining in the fourth quarter of the Vikings' 48-30 win over the Eagles.
According to the game video on NFL Rewind, the two officials talking to head referee Walt Anderson about the play in question were the field judge Buddy Horton and umpire Jeff Rice. According the The Vikings Age website, Simpson indicated it was the back judge, and the NFL gamebook shows that to be Billy Smith.
An email to NFL spokesman Greg Aiello requesting comment was not immediately returned. The league faced a situation back in November when Roy Ellison was suspended one game by the NFL for comments he made to Washington Redskins left tackle Trent Williams.
"There were some questionable things, what the ref also said to a couple of our players," Simpson said. "I won't go into that. It was kind of some stuff, controversial things that he said to a couple of our players.
"It wasn't good what he said. But I'll leave it at that. I'll let him live."
Simpson said the comments were not racist in nature, but he would not specify what the official said.
"It was definitely nothing that you say, that they should say to our players, what he said," Simpson said. "I didn't like it. I wanted to go ask him about it after the game but he took off into the locker room."
Simpson said he has no clue why he was penalized in the first place.
"I can't understand [the penalty]. I was patting the guy [Eagles cornerback Bradley Fletcher] on the butt," Simpson said. "I was telling him good job and he was smiling. I don't know. Then he pushed me and I fell and ... the refs, they huddled there for a minute and they called it on me. I don't know why they said I was taunting. I really don't know how that was called on me. ... I was definitely surprised."
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