Officials feeling the fans wrath

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) throws against the Los Angeles Chargers in the first half an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers in Detroit, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)
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LANSING, MI (WILX) -- If you're like me, you're one of the thousands of people who were not happy about the outcome of Monday night's Lions-Packers game.

Fans are upset about a string of calls that could have cost Detroit the game. A lot of fans are pointing the finger directly at the referees.

News 10's Megan Hiler spoke with an official with 20 years of experience to get his take on it all.

Twitter was abuzz last night with not only outraged Lions fans...but people even claiming conspiracy theories, accusing the officials and the NFL of fixing the game. Some were upset, others irate, but some were also downright confused about the controversial fourth quarter call.

It's the NFL, so the refs are held to a high standard. But what some people don't understand, is that those standards can effect referees even in your sons or daughters games too, especially with the introduction of new technology.

"So high school officials are getting the same scrutiny as professional officials and college officials, and they don't make nearly the same amount of money," Brent Rice, MHSSA assistant director said.

The MHSAA is experiencing a shortage of officials, and last night's questionable calls certainly don't help the cause. On top of that, according to the National Association of Sports Officials, 48 percent of male officials, and 45 percent of female officials have felt "unsafe" or feared for their safety because of a coach, player, or spectator.RICE says everyone can help with the problem.

"I think that in order for us to kind of combat this issue of the attacks on officials, its going to take the other people in the stands. Instead of just allowing that to occur, when they see that kind of behavior going on...addressing it," Rice said.

The takeaway from last nights heart-breaker? Yes, refs make mistakes, just like everyone else.

"No official wants to go out there and make a mistake. Do I think that they probably miss some? Sure. As a fan, I looked at it through it and said yeah, they might have missed them. But I also understand that we all miss them. I've missed plenty in my time," Rice said.

In 2006-2007, the MHSAA had more than 12,000 officials, but now the number sits just under 10,000.

Besides dealing with criticism, another reason the MHSAA cites lower numbers is a better economy.

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