Should New Jersey implement a law that bans replacement referees in professional sports? Any NFL fan knows that the NFL’s experienced union referees have been locked out by the league’s owners since June of this year. Lawmakers and NFL fans alike have called for such a law prohibiting fill-in refs citing reasons such as increased risk of player injuries to over $300 million lost in bets because of the purportedly botched call during the Green Bay Packers’ loss to the Seattle Seahawks and even disgruntled Fantasy Football owners (such as myself).
“This past weekend… the NFL has not only made a mockery of a great sport, but shined a very bright light on how important fully trained and professional officiating is to player safety,” said State Senate President Steve Sweeney, according to the Bergen Record. “We wouldn’t allow a factory or construction site to operate without fully trained supervisors on hand to ensure the safety of employees. Why should we do anything differently when the job site is a playing field?” Sweeney’s other concern is that the fans don’t get their money’s worth when the outcome of an important game hinges on the thought process of a referee who might only have experience in the lower levels of Division II and III college football.
Is this a good idea? Or should New Jersey State Legislators keep their hands out the professional sports cookie jar?
What do you think?