NFL pulls side judge for being Saints fan

Associated Press Modified: September 16, 2012 at 11:31 am •  Published: September 16, 2012
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The NFL has removed a replacement official from the New Orleans-Carolina game because it discovered he's a Saints fan.

Side judge Brian Stropolo has been replaced by an alternate, Tim Keese. The NFL made the decision Sunday morning just hours before kickoff.

"He was replaced because of the information that surfaced disclosing that he is a Saints fan," league spokesman Michael Signora said.

The league will look further into the matter. It received several phone calls and emails about Stropolo, who is from New Orleans and posted several photos of himself in Saints gear tailgating at a preseason game on his Facebook page.

Stropolo's Facebook page has since been taken down.

Stropolo worked the Week 1 NFL opener, a nationally televised game between the Cowboys and the defending Super Bowl champion Giants.

ESPN was first to report the news.

Panthers general manager Marty Hurney declined comment on the situation, calling it "a league matter."