The NFL believes that Monday night’s controversial taunting call made by referee Tony Corrente against Bears linebacker Cassius Marsh was correct. But the league won’t say it directly.
Mark Maske of the Post writes that the league “believes the taunting call made against . . . Marsh during Monday night’s game in Pittsburgh was justified and it has no plans to modify this season’s strict taunting enforcement, according to multiple people familiar with the league’s views on the matter.”
So why wouldn’t the NFL go on the record with this? It’s exactly like last month’s leak to the Associated Press, which reported with no name attached that the trove of 650,000 Bruce Allen email contains no other items reflecting the toxicity of the Jon Gruden emails.
The Post also reports, citing unnamed sources, that the league “did not give credence to Marsh’s accusation that referee Tony Corrente inappropriately bumped into him as Marsh moved past the official and toward the Bears’ sideline following the play.” Again, why wouldn’t the league just say it directly?
The league is entitled to come to these conclusions. (And others are entitled to disagree with those conclusions.) But what’s the secret about it? Why not have some transparency? Why not attach a name to it? Why not say it, as the kids say, with their chest?
Yes, reporting based on unnamed sources makes the journalism world go ’round. We use that device repeatedly. And there are times when there’s no good reason for someone to remain anonymous. Here, the league was getting its position into the public consciousness without taking responsibility for its position.
It’s strange. It’s odd. And it should be regarded as unacceptable. If any organization has a position to take on a subject that attracts significant interest, that position should be taken as an official statement of the league, or with the names of the appropriate people who are expressing that position attached to it.