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NFLRA fires back at the NFL

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Commissioner Roger Goodell may want to renegotiate his latest contract.

His job has become yet more complicated, with the breakdown in negotiations between the league and the NFL Referees Association.  And despite that fact that the NFLRA previously had been conciliatory in its public comments, lead negotiator Mike Arnold has, yes, thrown a yellow flag in the NFL’s direction.

In a statement issued Monday afternoon, Arnold claims that the league “never intended to work toward a fair agreement,” abandoning the federal mediation process after only two sessions.

Arnold claims that the league sent letters to potential replacements “before we even finished our negotiating session with the Federal Mediator.”

He also says that the league’s negotiators “took fewer than five minutes to review the NFLRA’s offer,” and that the offer rejected by the league “requested increases smaller than those the League agreed to in 2006.”

“There are no additional negotiating sessions currently scheduled,” Arnold says.  “However, our organization’s professional referees will continue preparing for the 2012 NFL season to the best of their abilities, despite the NFL’s refusal to provide them with vital training and educational materials.

“It is unfortunate that as referees’ responsibilities are expanded that the NFL would jeopardize player health and safety and the integrity of the game by seeking amateur, under qualified referees to administer professional games.”

Plenty of fans would take issue with that final point, given the ongoing criticism of the performance of game officials.  But the reality is that the NFL already hires the best of the best.  If the league uses replacement officials, the games will be officiated by something less than that.

Regardless of who’s at fault, it’s unacceptable to have anything other than the best officials working NFL games.

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44 Responses to “NFLRA fires back at the NFL”
  1. geeeeemen says: Jun 4, 2012 2:00 PM

    The current refs don’t even know the rules on whats a catch and whats not. Can’t wait til a ref from the Sun Belt Conference calls a catch with one foot in bounds a good catch.

  2. dlc618 says: Jun 4, 2012 2:03 PM

    Even the refs are greedy….this game has become one big cash grab.

  3. jakeman21co says: Jun 4, 2012 2:04 PM

    Awesome picture

  4. mikea311 says: Jun 4, 2012 2:05 PM

    can someone explain why the refs have a union???

    it was bad enough that unions are ruining this country, but now they are ruining football.

  5. truthfactory says: Jun 4, 2012 2:09 PM

    Sorry refs, you can only truly negotiate when you actually have bargaing power. In this case you have virtually none. Either accept the terms they offered you, or I’m sure the NFL will have no problem finding other guys to take your spots who can also screw up 10-20% of the calls on Sunday…

  6. hyzers says: Jun 4, 2012 2:13 PM

    No sympathy for the refs here. I’ve seen too many egregiously blown calls over the years to feel sorry for them.

  7. Match Point Floppy says: Jun 4, 2012 2:13 PM

    Yeah, boo these refs and unions! God forbid they actually want to get paid decently and have good working conditions! Just ruining the machine of corporate America!

    You know NFL refs don’t even make enough to make refereeing their full-time job? Many, if not all of them, have to work in the offseason. If the NFL was serious about the quality of their product, they’d pay the referees enough to let them spend offseasons reviewing their performances, getting ready for the upcoming season, training new referees, etc.

  8. mjkelly77 says: Jun 4, 2012 2:20 PM

    I think money is really a secondary issue with these part-time referee full-time attorneys, gynecologists and judges. It’s really a matter of pride associated with a certain compensation level. I believe most of them want the job because it gives them something to brag about since their handicaps at the country club are probably so high.

  9. preventoffense says: Jun 4, 2012 2:24 PM

    Match Point Flippant says: “”If the NFL was serious about the quality of their product, they’d pay the referees enough to let them spend offseasons reviewing their performances,””
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Do you KNOW how much they are paid? I doubt it.

  10. nebster21 says: Jun 4, 2012 2:24 PM

    why is it that all of the unions have a problem now that Goodell is in charge. Evidently the players, coaches, Referees, and the fans are having a problem with Goodell. Shoot even some of the owners are having a problem with him as well. How long is it going to take the people that can remove him from office to realize he is ruining the game.

  11. ebuliung says: Jun 4, 2012 2:25 PM

    referees will continue preparing for the 2012 NFL season to the best of their abilities…throwing that yellow flag must take months to prepare for

  12. clintonportisheadd says: Jun 4, 2012 2:25 PM

    mikea311 says: Jun 4, 2012 2:05 PM

    it was bad enough that unions are ruining this country, but now they are ruining football.

    —————–

    Thats right. The policeman’s union, the fireman’s union, the airline pilots union etc etc are “ruining the country”?

    Whats “ruining” the country are folks too lazy to do their own homework. Turn off your hate speech radio station. Turn off the stooges at Faux News. I guaranty that in a month you will not look like such a ignoramus when you post here.

  13. whhaaat says: Jun 4, 2012 2:25 PM

    Hey NFL, I’ll do it for free to all games in driving distance. The chance to be on the field of a actual game will be payment enough. Besides can I really do a worse job. The fact that I have common sense already makes me over qualified.

  14. denverscott says: Jun 4, 2012 2:29 PM

    Why make the right call? Replay makes them monkeys in jail suits. OH and they got new suits too.
    Here I am talking to my employer. “AHEM. I bust my butt 16 weeks a year for what? The prestige of reffing more than pop warner? NO. The chance to be the best at my craft? Are you kidding?I want the money homes, stand on your head and shake those pockets. NOBODY can do what I do” Sounds kida’ stupid dudes.

  15. mjkelly77 says: Jun 4, 2012 2:35 PM

    Match Point Floppy says:Jun 4, 2012 2:13 PM

    Yeah, boo these refs and unions! God forbid they actually want to get paid decently and have good working conditions! Just ruining the machine of corporate America!

    You know NFL refs don’t even make enough to make refereeing their full-time job? Many, if not all of them, have to work in the offseason …
    ________________

    Yeah, poor souls have to go back from a Sunday part-time gig to a dreary humdrum job as an attorney, doctor or judge. Get a clue. If it was a bad job they wouldn’t be standing in line to get in like they are now.

  16. tebowsafraud says: Jun 4, 2012 2:38 PM

    truthfactory says: Jun 4, 2012 2:09 PM

    Sorry refs, you can only truly negotiate when you actually have bargaing power. In this case you have virtually none.

    ————————

    Hard to take you seriously when you can’t even spell bargain!

    But before Roger actually thinks about putting these guys in real games he may want to go across the street and have a chat with David Stern. The NBA tried to actually use “replacement refs” in 2009 because they thought the refs had no “bargaining power”. History will show that after a month of the worst games anyone could remember and fans, coaches, and players demanding first class officiating the league made a deal.

  17. mjkelly77 says: Jun 4, 2012 2:39 PM

    “It is unfortunate that as referees’ responsibilities are expanded …”
    _______________

    Yeah, now they’ll have to keep BOTH eyes open during the game.

  18. theashleyguy says: Jun 4, 2012 2:40 PM

    In any sport, it’s always popular to boo the refs. The reality is that they study hard and are tested on their knowledge every year (even though the points of emphasis change every year). They make extremely difficult calls that are decided by tenths of seconds and fractions of inches, without the benefit of replay done in slow motion and broken down into hundreds of frames (yet somehow they get the overwhelming majority of teh calls right). They are working with the world’s best athletes and extraordinarily loyal fans who see anything that doesn’t go their way as evidence of either incompetence or that they are “obviously throwing the game.” Millions of people are watching and their performance is formally evaluated EVERY game. I’d like to see 1/10 of the people complaining try it out. I have. It’s really hard and thankless. They deserve a little more money–enough so they can make it a full-time job.

  19. carolinacraig says: Jun 4, 2012 2:44 PM

    “by seeking amateur, under qualified referees to administer professional games.”

    You must be kidding me. NFL refs are not full-time professionals – they only work during the season and often have vastly different jobs in the off-season. They are part-time amateurs in a league of full-time pros and are significantly easier to replace.

    And on that note, I’d like to see the league keep pushing for the ‘professionalization’ of the refs by making it a full-time profession and not just a hobby. Let’s not forget that in the early days of the league even star players had a job in the offseason. That time has long past and the only amateur holdovers from that era are the refs. Professionalizing their ranks benefits all parties and it’s long over due.

  20. fin72 says: Jun 4, 2012 2:47 PM

    Commissioner Roger Goodell may want to renegotiate his latest contract.

    His job has become yet more complicated…
    ______________________________

    Maybe he’s made his own job more complicated by being such an a-hole who can’t deal fairly with ANYBODY!

  21. treesloth16 says: Jun 4, 2012 2:52 PM

    These idiots who think unions are bad for the country/NFL: Unions are there to prevent large corporations from egregiously exploiting employees. That is the nature of for-profit corporations. The shareholders (in this case, owners) want to make as much money as possible. The employees (NFL players, NFL referees) want to make money that is commensurate with their position. If players and refs don’t have unions to fight for them, the owners would just as soon charge the same amount of money for tickets, but pay the players and refs next to nothing.

    And if you don’t agree with me, you obviously haven’t had your job out-sourced or in-sourced to China or India YET. Don’t be lapdogs to greedy businessmen/republicans. You can trace back all our economic woes to republican policies (including the Great Depression).

  22. kglee54 says: Jun 4, 2012 2:53 PM

    The league will not be the same without Ed Hercules….

  23. jebdamone says: Jun 4, 2012 2:56 PM

    I am on the side of the refs but only to an extent. that is the extent that they get paid crap to perform a very important job. I think that fact is noticeably affecting the performance of referees. I believe that the nfl should pay the referees much more than they are making right now but then also amp up the hours they are required to put in as far as training and study to assure that the referees provide quality performance on the field. right now this 10billion dollar industry is basically paying referees as part time employees and the performance we are getting from them on the field reflects that because a lot of these guys do have other jobs to worry about.

  24. iambadkid says: Jun 4, 2012 2:56 PM

    man screw the nfl the nfl wants money and they continue to lockout the players and officials out screw this game i have hardcore pawn to watch anyway

  25. naanunaanu says: Jun 4, 2012 3:10 PM

    i feel that of the NFL Games i watched last year the refs got the majority of the calls right, and given the stress and high pressure situations they are in, a cost of living raise and increase should be allowed. especially when the league is having record revenue and income….. i am sure goodell is ready for the season to start so she can get his name out of the weekly headlines

  26. purpleguy says: Jun 4, 2012 3:14 PM

    What surprises me is that the numbers involved have to be pretty low in comparison to the other financial issues facing the league, meaning they should be able to work this out pretty easily. I’ll bet the total paid all NFL refs for the entire year doesn’t even equal the amount a starting NFL tight end earns in one game.

  27. JaminJake says: Jun 4, 2012 3:23 PM

    So let me get this straight, revenues continue to climb for the teams and they feel the employees don’t deserve part of it?

  28. twigsandberries says: Jun 4, 2012 3:24 PM

    Overall I think the Refs do a decent job. Hard not too with so much replay available. Having said that how many Refs are there in the NFL? 50? Understood that the NFL ‘hires the best’, but you can’t tell me only 50 people in the country can do it. Sorry, but this Ref union doesn’t have much power here. They are not the ‘talent’. Obviously the right thing to do is for the NFL and NFLRA to find a fair middle ground, but I don’t think Goodell/NFL need to give the farm away. Hiring and training new Refs doesn’t sound like a major undertaking. Looks like Hoculi will be doing alot of bicep curls this fall.

  29. truthfactory says: Jun 4, 2012 3:37 PM

    treesloth16 says: Jun 4, 2012 2:52 PM

    These idiots who think unions are bad for the country/NFL: Unions are there to prevent large corporations from egregiously exploiting employees. That is the nature of for-profit corporations. The shareholders (in this case, owners) want to make as much money as possible. The employees (NFL players, NFL referees) want to make money that is commensurate with their position. If players and refs don’t have unions to fight for them, the owners would just as soon charge the same amount of money for tickets, but pay the players and refs next to nothing.

    And if you don’t agree with me, you obviously haven’t had your job out-sourced or in-sourced to China or India YET. Don’t be lapdogs to greedy businessmen/republicans. You can trace back all our economic woes to republican policies (including the Great Depression).
    ——————————–

    Many jobs are being outsourced because unions have demanded artificially high wages and benefits for manual oabor that a trained chimp can do. When it becomes too costly to do business in the US, thats when they outsource.

    Would you want to be forced to pay someone to cut your grass for $100 when there’s 20 people lined up to do it for only $30??? That is why employers leave the US.

  30. kane337 says: Jun 4, 2012 3:54 PM

    Pay the refs. Quit being so damn cheap. The NFL makes billions.

  31. PFTiswhatitis says: Jun 4, 2012 3:55 PM

    @treesloth16 says:
    Jun 4, 2012 2:52 PM
    These idiots who think unions are bad for the country/NFL: Unions are there to prevent large corporations from egregiously exploiting employees. That is the nature of for-profit corporations. The shareholders (in this case, owners) want to make as much money as possible. The employees (NFL players, NFL referees) want to make money that is commensurate with their position. If players and refs don’t have unions to fight for them, the owners would just as soon charge the same amount of money for tickets, but pay the players and refs next to nothing.

    And if you don’t agree with me, you obviously haven’t had your job out-sourced or in-sourced to China or India YET. Don’t be lapdogs to greedy businessmen/republicans. You can trace back all our economic woes to republican policies (including the Great Depression).
    —————————
    Unions and their members are overcharging our cities and states to the brink of collapse. Teachers retire with full benefits after minimal service. But it’s the corporations that are the bad guys.
    Where do you think the money comes from? Here’s a hint, it doesn’t grow on trees. In a perfect world everyone would live like the Greek people, early retirement, no taxes, government pays for everything…right up until it goes broke. Get a clue.

  32. casophonic says: Jun 4, 2012 3:56 PM

    Match Point Floppy says:

    “You know NFL refs don’t even make enough to make refereeing their full-time job? Many, if not all of them, have to work in the offseason. ”

    Floppy, the referees work sixteen days a year. Sixteen days. They should all have real jobs.

    I want them to get paid, and get travel money, and a good prescription eyecare plan with the benefit package, but full professional salary for sixteen days work a year? Too much…

  33. steel9456 says: Jun 4, 2012 3:57 PM

    I wont watch games with Scab Refs no more than I will watch a game with Scab Players. You People have been brain washed by Corperations to think unions are bad and greedy. Thats why so many are working for $9.00 per hour and no benefits. There was no such thing as a weekend till the unions gained power.

  34. JaminJake says: Jun 4, 2012 4:11 PM

    truthfactory says:
    Jun 4, 2012 3:37 PM
    treesloth16 says: Jun 4, 2012 2:52 PM

    These idiots who think unions are bad for the country/NFL: Unions are there to prevent large corporations from egregiously exploiting employees. That is the nature of for-profit corporations. The shareholders (in this case, owners) want to make as much money as possible. The employees (NFL players, NFL referees) want to make money that is commensurate with their position. If players and refs don’t have unions to fight for them, the owners would just as soon charge the same amount of money for tickets, but pay the players and refs next to nothing.

    And if you don’t agree with me, you obviously haven’t had your job out-sourced or in-sourced to China or India YET. Don’t be lapdogs to greedy businessmen/republicans. You can trace back all our economic woes to republican policies (including the Great Depression).
    ——————————–

    Many jobs are being outsourced because unions have demanded artificially high wages and benefits for manual oabor that a trained chimp can do. When it becomes too costly to do business in the US, thats when they outsource.

    Would you want to be forced to pay someone to cut your grass for $100 when there’s 20 people lined up to do it for only $30??? That is why employers leave the US.
    ________________________

    Actually they left the US because they could save 25 cents on producing a tape measure in China. I bet you feel that child labor laws are archaic and should be abolished Mr. Mugatu?

  35. daysend564 says: Jun 4, 2012 4:17 PM

    NFL referees make between 25,000-70,000 a year. Not too bad considering, they only have to work 48 hours a year.

  36. rodgers419 says: Jun 4, 2012 4:21 PM

    The NFL has problems with the players. The NFL has problems with the referees. Doesn’t take a psychic to see the common denominator here.

  37. jm91rs says: Jun 4, 2012 4:39 PM

    Don’t be lapdogs to greedy businessmen/republicans. You can trace back all our economic woes to republican policies (including the Great Depression)

    _________________________________

    Here we go, let’s get political and blame republicans for this farce. Shame on those businessmen for wanting to make money, darn you corporate America. We’re all trying to get as much as we can without doing any work and you’re messing it up!

    The refs have a right to a union. They have a right to demand better wages and conditions. Just as the NFL has the right to send them packing.

    Players unions remain strong because the players are irreplaceable. Refs are not irreplaceable, and therefore I say go ahead and replace them with someone that will do the same job for the right price. Big time SEC / PAC 12 / Big 10 refs would do just fine in the job.

    Don’t talk to me about republicans and the great depression (seriously, on a football website you bring that up?). This is an issue with some well paid refs wanting to be better paid. If the NFL goes for that then great, if not I hope the refs are prepared to be former NFL refs. Unions serve a purpose, but don’t tell me about working conditions with this one. Flying around the country and getting paid well to work weekends isn’t a bad gig and the autoworker/firefighter/policeman/etc unions will laugh at the plight of an NFL referee.

  38. ocdn says: Jun 4, 2012 4:41 PM

    Look up uneducated, willing to work for minimum wage and in unsafe working conditions and not able to form his own opinion unless told what his opinion is, and you’ll see mikea311. Instead of blaming unions, why don’t you try to “READ” what and where the cause of your disdain really originates from.

  39. jm91rs says: Jun 4, 2012 4:41 PM

    JaminJake, How dare you slander Mugatu. He invented the Piano Key necktie and shouldn’t be held to the same standards as the rest of the business world.

  40. JaminJake says: Jun 4, 2012 4:43 PM

    daysend564 says:
    Jun 4, 2012 4:17 PM
    NFL referees make between 25,000-70,000 a year. Not too bad considering, they only have to work 48 hours a year.

    _______________________________

    Yea, those Refs don’t fly anywhere at all.

  41. bsizemore68 says: Jun 4, 2012 5:31 PM

    Treesloth16, you save me from wasting my time, you said it all, however trying to get a republican to understand anything is a hard job, facts are not what they understand, to bad,I hope things will work out by August. Bill

  42. mediasloppy says: Jun 4, 2012 5:53 PM

    The NFL must have Scott Walker on retainer…

  43. foosballisthedevil says: Jun 4, 2012 7:09 PM

    Mike Pereira

  44. 6thsense79 says: Jun 4, 2012 10:00 PM

    truthfactory says:Jun 4, 2012 3:37 PM

    treesloth16 says: Jun 4, 2012 2:52 PM

    These idiots who think unions are bad for the country/NFL: Unions are there to prevent large corporations from egregiously exploiting employees. That is the nature of for-profit corporations. The shareholders (in this case, owners) want to make as much money as possible. The employees (NFL players, NFL referees) want to make money that is commensurate with their position. If players and refs don’t have unions to fight for them, the owners would just as soon charge the same amount of money for tickets, but pay the players and refs next to nothing.

    And if you don’t agree with me, you obviously haven’t had your job out-sourced or in-sourced to China or India YET. Don’t be lapdogs to greedy businessmen/republicans. You can trace back all our economic woes to republican policies (including the Great Depression).
    ——————————–

    Many jobs are being outsourced because unions have demanded artificially high wages and benefits for manual oabor that a trained chimp can do. When it becomes too costly to do business in the US, thats when they outsource.

    Would you want to be forced to pay someone to cut your grass for $100 when there’s 20 people lined up to do it for only $30??? That is why employers leave the US.
    ———————————————
    The percentage of private sector workers in union hit an all time low of 6.9% in 2011. So how the hell are you going to blame unions for jobs getting outsourced. Maybe….just maybe greedy corporations think it’s cheaper to pay someone in China $1 an hour to put together shoes, computers, or cars than the living wage they would have to pay here in the US.

    This is a global world filled with cheap labor and business is always trying to save a buck. Back in the 50s and 60s when unions were waaaaay stronger and more prevalant than today there were plenty of jobs to go around so to lay the blame on Unions today is simple minded at best. But you go on and keep believing that nonsense.

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