[Note: This is the full text of a statement issued by NFLPA Executice Director DeMaurice Smith on the ongoing lockout of officials by the NFL on Tuesday, September 25th.]
NFLPA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR DEMAURICE SMITH STATEMENT TO PLAYERS ON REFEREE LOCKOUT
The decision by the NFL owners to lockout the referees jeopardizes your health and safety. This decision to remove over 1,500 years of collective experience has simply made the workplace less safe.
It is the NFL’s duty to provide a workplace that is as safe as possible. The League will want fans, the media and sponsors to talk only about ‘the product’ on the field. We are not product.
While the focus today is about a blown call and the outcome of one football game, our focus as a family of players is and will remain squarely on workplace safety.
Contrary to some reports, we are not crossing any picket line. The referees are not on strike. The Owners locked them out.
We are actively reviewing any and all possible actions to protect you.