Many New York Jets fans believed there was some home field officiating going on during the first half of the Week 13 loss in Minnesota.
The Jets secondary was flagged three times on the Vikings’ first touchdown drive — the third being an unnecessary roughness penalty on safety Jordan Whitehead. Will Parkinson of the “Turn on the Jets” podcast tweeted out a video of the hit, calling it an “absolute joke” and adding that “the [officiating] crew [had] been horrendous.”
Parkinson labeled the Whitehead flag a “personal foul for playing football.”
Jets’ Jordan Whitehead Lets Loose on NFL for Week 13 Fine
Whitehead didn’t complain about the penalty after the game, until today on December 9. As the NFL does every week, they dished out fines the following weekend and the Jets safety must have received a letter.
Whitehead quote tweeted Parkinson’s video on Friday, voicing: “Got fined 15k for this bs. They just trynna take our money smh [shaking my head] and what am I suppose to do let him catch it??”
The actual penalty was only worth five yards during the game — since it occurred inside the 10-yard line — but it apparently cost the hard-hitting defensive back a lot more than that. Whitehead implied that the fine was worth $15,000, which is a pretty large chunk of change for the average person.
The Jets guaranteed Whitehead $7 million this spring, so he can afford the fine but that’s beside the point. The tackle was delivered straight to the chest and appeared to be perfectly legal, meaning Whitehead should be getting an apology rather than a $15K bill.
Even a division rival thought the Jets got hosed on this one. Buffalo Bills veteran Jordan Poyer, who also plays safety, quote tweeted Parkinson on December 4.
“I mean… my goodness they want us to play flag football at this point,” Poyer voiced in disbelief.
‘Soft calls’ like these are becoming a staple of the modern-day NFL, but the ruling to fine Whitehead on top of the flag definitely feels like overkill and it could be damaging toward the NFL product. How can defenders play the game full speed if they always have to worry about getting penalized both on and off the field?
Jets Fans React to Jordan Whitehead Fine
Many came to Whitehead’s defense on social media after the news of the fine became known.
“Yeah that’s a dumb flag [and] even dumber they got you paying a fine man,” commented Jake Brown of the NY Post’s “Gang’s All Here” podcast.
“Completely outrageous,” wrote another, and a third said that the play was “perfectly legit.”
One fan even blamed the commissioner. “[Roger] Goodell hates the jets and that’s just it,” he tweeted. “Players need to take a stand against refs and Goodell. More former players need to become referees.”
Finally, a fan voiced that “calling a flag during the game is one thing but doubling down with the fine is ridiculous.”
Parkinson responded as well, after his initial video stirred up quite a bit of drama between Whitehead and Poyer sharing it. “Put the flags on and run some 7 on 7 at this point?” He questioned with some laughing emojis.
For the sake of objectivity, a Vikings fan did post another angle on the collision, which revealed some slight helmet-to-helmet contact.
“Helmet hits helmet,” the Minnesota supporter noted, adding: “But, seriously, @jwhite_333 is there not a way -next time- to lean your head back, hit with your shoulder, etc.? If not, then yes, not sure what else you can do.”