Our View: Get the real referees back to work

DKS Editors

It appears that we have entered a culture of high-profile labor strife in professional sports.

The NHL is in grave danger of its second work stoppage in less than a decade.

The NBA had to cancel games last season because of a lockout, and the NFL came dangerously close to its deadline before it had to shorten last season.

While arguments between billionaires and millionaires over revenue sharing make any middle-class fan angry, the NFL has reached a new low in its treatment of a different set of employees — the referees.

While salary and staffing issues are being argued during the negotiations, the key sticking point between the two sides is the officials’ pension plans when they retire.

While the Daily Kent Stater understands the need for both sides to collectively bargain a deal that is beneficial to both sides — the performance of the replacement referees during the Atlanta Falcons vs. Denver Broncos Monday Night football game showed the work stoppage needs to end immediately.

Many pundits on ESPN said it was the worst officiated game they had ever seen. At one point in the game, a referee advanced the ball 11 yards on a five-yard penalty. Later on, a referee called a penalty against Denver for having 12 men on the field. No camera angle confirmed the penalty, and the referee gave no explanation to Denver’s head coach — a common courtesy in the NFL.

During a scuffle between the two teams, two different players made contact with two officials. The players showed blatant disregard for the referees’ authority by pushing them out of the way during the scrum. Neither of the players were ejected, and only one was called for a personal foul.

The NFL has spent years saying its main concerns are the integrity of the game and player safety. These replacement refs have proven to jeopardize both of those principles.

It’s time for the highest-grossing sports league in the United States to fork over a little more money to qualified professionals and provide the fans with the product they’re used to enjoying.

The above editorial is the consensus

opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial