Top 10 Most Controversial Things in the NFL

Don't get me wrong. I like football, and the NFL is one of the most popular sports leagues in America. However, there have been several controversial moments in the NFL. This list will include things that have happened in the league, as well as game-changing referee calls that were terrible.
The Top Ten
1 Colin Kaepernick Kneeling During the National Anthem

This controversy is the newest one. It occurred in the middle of the 2017 season as a way to bring awareness to police being harsh to Blacks. While they do have the right to protest, many people saw the whole movement as disrespectful to the flag, country, and military. This caused several people to look down on the NFL, including Donald Trump.

2 Washington Redskins Name

The Redskins claim that the franchise name Redskins was to "honor" the Native Americans. However, many Native Americans thought it was very offensive and racist. Not only is it the most controversial NFL franchise name, but it's also one of the most controversial names in all of professional sports.

3 The Patriots Spygate Scandal

This incident occurred when the Patriots videotaped other teams' signals.

4 The Patriots Deflategate Scandal

In the 2014-15 AFC Championship Game, the Patriots were accused of underinflating the footballs in a very lopsided win. Their punishment was Tom Brady being suspended for 4 games, losing 2 draft picks, and facing a $1 million fine. It was such a significant case that even the Supreme Court was involved.

5 The Tuck Rule - 2002

This game was in the playoffs between the Patriots and Raiders. Charles Woodson had sacked the young Tom Brady. This resulted in a fumble recovered by the Raiders that would have sealed the deal. However, according to NFL rules, Brady appeared to tuck the ball, and instead of a game-winning fumble recovery for Oakland, it became an incomplete pass. This led to an overtime win, which eventually led to Brady's dynasty.

6 The Fail Mary - 2012

This one was just downright horrible officiating. The game happened in 2012 on Monday Night Football between Green Bay and Seattle when Seattle threw a Hail Mary pass. It was called a touchdown, and the Seahawks won despite the replacement refs missing a clear offensive pass interference on Tate.

This game sucked. It's what brought the real refs back. That was a pick. Golden Tate just put his hands on the ball and acted like he caught it.

7 Dez Bryant Catch

I'm surprised it wasn't on here before. I have mixed feelings about this play, but I think it was somewhat a catch.

8 Immaculate Reception
9 Saints Bountygate Scandal

This incident occurred right around 2009 when Saints players were basically given pay bonuses or bounties for injuring opposing players.

Hm, the Saints won the Super Bowl during the 2009 season...

10 Ray Rice Domestic Abuse Video
The Contenders
11 Steelers “Incomplete” TD Pass vs New England

This was also a recent controversy when Ben Roethlisberger threw the game-winning touchdown pass to Jesse James with just under 30 seconds left. It was initially ruled a touchdown but was overruled because James didn't maintain control of the ball. This controversy brings back up the age-old question of "What is a catch?"

12 NFL Officiating (2018)

The 2018 NFL season was filled with a lot of questionable calls in games throughout the season. From Clay Matthews' "roughing the passer" to the "roughing the passer" in the AFC Championship for touching Brady's shoulder, to obvious penalties never being called, the biggest one in the NFC Championship. The officiating has been questionable from time to time, but it was at its absolute worst in 2018. When one controversial call ends up potentially changing the outcome of games, then it becomes a problem.

13 Antonio Brown Sex Abuse Scandal
14 Music City Miracle

One of the most famous plays happened in the playoffs in 1999-2000 when Buffalo was up with 16 seconds to go and had just scored. The Titans then threw a lateral pass that wasn't called and would've sealed the deal for Buffalo, but they missed it and Tennessee scored the game-winning touchdown.

15 Ray Lewis Murder Accusation and Trial
16 Super Bowl Halftime 2019

SpongeBob SquarePants creator, Stephen Hillenburg, died from complications from ALS in late 2018. To memorialize him and pay tribute, fans started a petition to get the song Sweet Victory from the episode Band Geeks at the Super Bowl halftime show.

This request was fulfilled...kinda. Supposedly, it was played at the stadium, but it wasn't broadcasted on TV, nor did it happen during halftime. However, there was a brief segment with Squidward, which was merely used to segue into Travis Scott's performance of Sicko Mode.

SpongeBob fans felt cheated and betrayed, with many voicing displeasure with the execution of the issue. Mo Bamba or Sicko Mode? I think everybody's going with Mo Bamba now...

17 The Drive
18 Matt Gay Misses the Game Winning Kick (2019)
19 Ndamukong Suh Gets Ejected for Kicking a Rival Player in the Head
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