Philadelphia Eagles fans are known for being a passionate group, and that passion is on full display with an internet petition posted to Change.org on Thursday.
The petition, titled "Pete Morelli should be banned from refereeing Philadelphia Eagles games," has already surpassed 60,00 signatures as of Tuesday morning.
Morelli, a longtime referee who was hired by the NFL as a full-time employee last month, is accused in the petition of being unfairly partisan. Its author, Will Philbrick of Little Rock, Arkansas, wrote that Morelli has a "clear and statistically obvious bias against the Philadelphia Eagles."
The petition was posted shortly after last Thursday's game between the Eagles and the Carolina Panthers, which Morelli worked. While the Eagles won the game 28-23, they did so in spite of their 126 penalty yards, compared to just one yard for the Panthers. It was the first time in NFL history that one team had over 120 penalty yards while the opposing team had less than 10, according to NBC Sports.
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DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 15: Defensive end Derek Wolfe #95 of the Denver Broncos is introduced to the crowd before a game against the New York Giants at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on October 15, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 15: Wide receiver De'Anthony Thomas #13 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates a touchdown with teammate Demarcus Robinson #14 during the fourth quarter of the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Arrowhead Stadium on October 15, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri. ( Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images )
ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 15: Tevin Coleman #26 of the Atlanta Falcons stretches for a touchdown against Kiko Alonso #47 and Nate Allen #29 of the Miami Dolphins at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on October 15, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - OCTOBER 15: D.J. Hayden #31 of the Detroit Lions forces Ted Ginn #19 of the New Orleans Saints out of bounds during the first half of a game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on October 15, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 15: Tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins #88 of the New York Jets is seen fumbling the ball after what was originally called a touchdown against strong safety Duron Harmon #30 and cornerback Malcolm Butler #21 of the New England Patriots during the fourth quarter of their game at MetLife Stadium on October 15, 2017 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Replay Official reviewed the runner broke the plane ruling, and the play was reversed and called a fumble. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - OCTOBER 15: Wide Receiver Michael Campanaro #12 of the Baltimore Ravens returns a punt for a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Chicago Bears at M&T Bank Stadium on October 15, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - OCTOBER 15: Marshon Lattimore #23 of the New Orleans Saints breaks up a pass thrown to Golden Tate #15 of the Detroit Lions at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on October 15, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Saints defeated the Lions 52-38. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 15: Wide receiver Antonio Brown #84 of the Pittsburgh Steelers is upended by linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis #57 of the Kansas City Chiefs after a catch over the middle during the second half of the game at Arrowhead Stadium on October 15, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri. ( Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images )
HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 15: Braxton Miller #13 of the Houston Texans dives into the endzone for a touchdown in the second quarter defended by Jamar Taylor #21 of the Cleveland Browns at NRG Stadium on October 15, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - OCTOBER 15: The New Orleans Saints defense celebrates during the second half of a game against the Detroit Lions at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on October 15, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 15: Seth DeValve #87 of the Cleveland Browns catches a pass for a touchdown in the fourth quarter defended by Marcus Gilchrist #21 of the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on October 15, 2017 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Oct 15, 2017; Oakland, CA, USA; Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon (28) hurdles over Oakland Raiders free safety Reggie Nelson (27) and strong safety Karl Joseph (42) during the fourth quarter at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Oct 15, 2017; New Orleans, LA, USA; Detroit Lions running back Ameer Abdullah (21) has his shirt stretched by New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan (94) in the second half at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
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The Eagles disagreed with Morelli's officiating on several of the game's plays.
"We felt like a lot of those were ticky-tack, or weren’t good calls," safety Malcolm Jenkins said. "For us, adversity is nothing new for us. We just kind of strap up and keep playing, and hunker down."
It wasn't the first time the Eagles felt victimized by Morelli's officiating. In four games dating back to the 2013 season, the Eagles have racked up a whopping 396 yards in penalties. Their opponents in those games, meanwhile, combined for just 74 yards, creating a striking contrast.
It's worth noting that all of those games were held in CenturyLink Field — in the last Eagles road game worked by Morelli, also against the Panthers, they came away with just 30 penalty yards, compared to 101 by Carolina. But to Philbrick and the petition's supporters, four penalty-heavy games in a row is more than enough.
"Preventing Morelli from refereeing Eagles games will result in a more trustworthy and honest NFL," Philbrick wrote. "This will benefit the entire league and keep all claims of conspiracy to a normal level."
The Eagles will play again on Sunday night, when they're slated to host the Washington Redskins. Fortunately for their disgruntled fans, Morelli won't be in attendance.