With replacement referees making poor calls that can ultimately hurt players, the NFL Players Union has stepped in to ask that NFL team owners end the current referee lockout.
In an open letter to NFL officials, the players union hints that the lockout could violate its own collective bargaining agreement, which called for a safe working environment for players.
The letter of demand was written by NFLPA president Domonique Foxworth and signed by New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita.
According to the letter, the lockout “has led to a deterioration of order, safety and integrity.”
The NFLPA also questions how NFL commissioner Roger Goodell can go about issuing suspensions and fines “in the name of player health and safety” when officials meant to protect players are locked out of their jobs.
Among issues being caused by the lockout include games finishing after midnight because of “slow flowing” play, missed calls on illegal hits, and various other infractions.
While the NFLPA would like officials to return to the field, the league’s front office and team owners are still fighting over pay increases, retirement plan offerings, and other issues that have placed them miles apart in their negotiations.
With the players union and fans demanding the return of veteran officials and referees already losing upwards of $50,000 in pay each, there is a chance the lockout could come to an end. On the other hand, officials could use the horrendous play calling of non-experienced referees to demand better pay and other benefits.
Do you think the NFL officials lockout is hurting gameplay?