Sounding more frustrated than angry, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers went on his radio show today and told NFL fans that he’s sorry they’re watching a substandard product while the league is locking out the referees.
Rodgers was asked at the start of the Aaron Rodgers Show what he thought of the officials giving the Seahawks a touchdown on a last-second Hail Mary that it appeared the Packers intercepted, but he said he’d rather step back and take a broader view beyond that play.
“Before we get into that, some stuff just needs to be said,” Rodgers said. “First of all, I’ve got to do something that the NFL is not going to do, and I have to apologize to the fans. Our sport is generated, a multi-billion dollar machine, by people who pay good money to come watch us play. And the product on the field is not being complemented by an appropriate set of officials. The games are getting out of control. Like I said in the first week, I’m OK with replacement refs as long as they don’t have a direct impact on the game. Obviously last night there was a direct impact on the game on multiple plays. But my thing is I just feel bad for the fans. They pay good money to watch this. The game is being tarnished by an NFL that obviously cares more about saving some money than having the integrity of the game diminished.”
Rodgers said he can’t be too surprised that the owners are refusing to bring back the regular officials, because just last year the owners were locking out the players.
“Let’s remember who we are dealing with. We’re dealing with an NFL that locked out the players,” Rodgers said. “This is an NFL who gambled on some low-level referees, including the guy who makes the most important call last night, who has never had any professional experience.”
Rodgers then went through the NFL’s statement about the game-deciding call, which Rodgers described as “covering their butt.” He was not impressed with the league’s explanation.
Although many of Rodgers’ teammates have offered furious, profane responses to Monday night’s ending, Rodgers was calm and measured in his words. But he’s obviously as upset as anyone.