NFL removes side judge Brian Stropolo from Saints-Panthers crew because he was a Saints fan

Brian Stropolo had pictures of himself wearing Saints gear on his Facebook page. (Facebook.com)

The NFL has removed an official from the crew working the Saints-Panthers game on Sunday. Brian Stropolo, scheduled to be the side judge, had posted fan-related items on his Facebook page, the league confirmed to CBSSports.com's Jason La Canfora.

Tim Keese will replace Stropolo, a league spokesman told La Canfora.

The NFL became aware on Sunday morning of an item on Stropolo's Facebook page that identified him as a Saints fan. It then "took the appropriate action" in removing him, a league spokesman said. It was ESPN that notified the league of the social-media posting on Stropolo's page, with Chris Mortensen reporting that Stropolo was removed because his page "unabashedly displays fan passion for the Saints."

"We took the safe and appropriate measures," NFL executive vice president of football operations Ray Anderson told NFL Network on Sunday morning.

Stropolo has since deleted his Facebook page, but the damage was already done.

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CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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