Will NFL referee lockout end soon because of blown call?
While President Barack Obama labeled it a “terrible” call, professors and lawyers disagreed whether a disputed game-ending ruling by substitute officials will hasten the end of the National Football League’s lockout of its regular referees.
The $9.3 billion-a-year NFL said it stood by the call that gave the Seattle Seahawks a last-second win against the Green Bay Packers two nights ago and accelerated criticism of replacement officials.
Sports management professors and labor lawyers argued over whether the call that gave Golden Tate a touchdown and the Seahawks a 14-12 nationally televised victory would help lead to a settlement of the contract dispute that hinges on pensions.
“I’ve been saying for months we’ve got to get our refs back,” Obama said yesterday as he arrived at the White House after speaking at the United Nations in New York.
DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFL Players Association, said in a statement to players that the lockout of regular referees “jeopardizes your health and safety.”
“It is the NFL’s duty to provide a workplace that is as safe as possible,” Smith said. “We are actively reviewing any and all possible actions to protect you.”
From Hall of Fame players to the Wisconsin governor’s office, the NFL was inundated yesterday with pleas to settle with the officials’ union and protect the image and integrity of the nation’s most popular sport. Las Vegas bookmakers said the disputed call caused a $300 million swing in payoffs worldwide.
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