NFL pulls Saints fan side judge

Sept. 17, 2012 at 6:40 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Sept. 17 (UPI) -- An NFL spokesman said a side judge has been pulled from an upcoming game due to his New Orleans Saints fandom becoming public.

Spokesman Greg Aiello said Brian Stropolo was removed as a side judge for the Saints' game against the Carolina Panthers Sunday in Charlotte after officials saw a picture on Stropolo's Facebook page of him decked out in Saints gear, CNN reported Monday.

"He was taken off the game due to the information disclosing that he is a Saints fan. We must avoid even the appearance of a conflict," Aiello said

Stropolo was among the replacement officiating crew hired by the NFL when it was unable to reach a labor agreement with its regular staff before the season started. Aiello said Stropolo has been replaced by alternate Tim Keese.

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