NFL Referee Lockout - Problem?

by Jim

Problem, NFL refs?

Problem, NFL refs?

It seems that no progress has been made in regards to the NFL referees lockout.


At the heart of most labor disputes is money, and the two sides in this case are reportedly $50,000 apart in salary discussions. But there are other concerns, which brings us to…

Point 1: Pension fund. The NFL owners want to replace the existing pension with 401K plans that are heavily tied to the stock market. For the owners: more money. For the refs: more risk, less benefits. This is something that most businesses do these days.

Problem? Most businesses don’t turn billions of dollars in profits like the NFL.


Point 2: Salary. There’s two ways of looking at this. On one hand, you can say that NFL refs are underpaid compared to their MLB counterparts. On the other you could say that their average salary of $149K for 20 games a year is more than enough for “part-time work”.

Problem? As stated in this article, paying 200 full-time officials $250,000 a year equals $50 million, or less than 1% of the NFL’s annual revenue. And as the Boston Herald points out, it’s truly NFL officiating on the cheap -- a settlement with the referees union would cost each team $62,500 per year. With each NFL franchise worth an average of $1.1 billion, that comes to one-thousandth of 5.68% (.0000568). If you earn $1500 a week, that would be 8.5 cents.


Point 3: Player safety. Steve Young is one of several present and former players to point out that the safety of the players is being compromised.

Problem? With all of the preaching done by Roger Goodell about player health and safety, and with all that’s gone down over the last few years (Bountygate, suicides, lawsuits), you’d think that this alone would be enough to end the lockout.


Point 4: Integrity. Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity. Ooops – that’s the FBI’s motto. Nevertheless, the NFL works hard to project & maintain its own image of integrity, yet somehow managed to hire a replacement NFL referee that is a “rabid” Saints fan and another that allegedly drafted LeSean McCoy for his fantasy team.

Problem? The NFL is currently dishing out lemons to its paying customers. There’s a law for this in the auto industry – are NFL owners so out of touch that they think they can continue to flaunt a defective product without repercussions?


C’mon Roger, pay the refs already. Problem?

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May 01, 2016
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