Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

For once, fans, players want refs back on field

If you didn’t know before this week’s Monday Night Football game, you probably have heard the National Football League has locked out its referees.

The debacle that started before preseason went to new heights after a controversial call was made by replacement referees at the end of the Packers vs. Seahawks game that sent the latter home as victors.

And there you have it. Roger Goodell’s point was proven. Better job performance by NFL officials is believed to be one of the motivations behind the lockout. To combat under-performing officials, the NFL wants to hire 21 reserves, which could result in an official sitting out games without pay due to his performance.

Other points of discussion relative to the lockout include the league wanting to move to a 401K plan, as opposed to staying with the pension plan officials prefer. There is also disagreement on how much officials will be paid for the next few years. The NFL has stated they offered a raise to $189,000 from $149,000 by 2018. It’s been reported that officials have asked for more than that, but a number has not been disclosed.

The NFL takes in more than $9 billion in revenue a season, so one would think the league could spare a few thousand dollars more to ensure the happiness of their employees, as long as officials aren’t asking for an unreasonable amount.

The lockout might not be considered as bad if the replacement officials were doing a good job. After all, who really likes referees in any sport? Why would the original officials be missed? Just ask Aaron Rodgers, Bill Belichick, the Baltimore Ravens fans that chanted obscenities, or any other player, fan or coach in the league.

Just three weeks into the season, players have taken to traditional and social media outlets to express their frustrations with the calls and lack thereof in games.

Packers offensive lineman TJ Lang declared via Twitter, after shooting a couple of expletives, “Fine me and use the money to pay the regular refs.”

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees tweeted, “I love this league and love the game of football, but tonight’s debacle hurts me greatly. This is NOT the league we’re supposed to represent.”

And Miami Dolphins running back Reggie Bush simply tweeted, “These refs gotta go I’m sorry.”

After the Packers-Seahawks game, quarterback Aaron Rodgers blasted the NFL for hiring unqualified replacement referees and even questioned the league for putting money above football.

These players will likely get fined for their comments, but if national figures like Bill Clinton are disputing the work of these replacement officials, something is not right.

I agree with Rodgers’ statement about the NFL putting money before football. The league did the same thing when they locked out the players just two years ago. A pay raise for officials may result in better job performance. However, it is not a guarantee the original referees will do better, so reserve officials are not a bad idea. All of the parties involved need to come to a compromise to ensure the integrity of the game that provides them all with a livelihood.


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