The NFLPA might not like replacement refs and their decisions any more than the Packers do this morning.
But they’re also limited in what they can do about it.
NFLPA assistant executive director for external affairs George Atallah told Mike Garafolo of USA Today that there was a ceiling for how much the players union could do.
“The thing we’re going to continue to focus on right now is the fact we didn’t create this mess. So to ask us to fix it is somewhat misplaced,” Atallah said. “We didn’t make the decision to lock the officials out, we didn’t make the decision to use substandard replacements, we didn’t make the decision to put the integrity of the game at risk.
“So to turn around and ask the players to do something about it is not really the right solution here.”
While some have suggested the players could stand arm-in-arm with their union brethren, not playing isn’t a realistic option.
The NFLPA issued a statement over the weekend claiming owners “have failed in your obligation to provide as safe a working environment as possible.”
The NFLPA has had discussions with the NFL Referees Association during the lockout, but the arrangement hasn’t gone beyond talking.
“Strongly worded statements are fine,” Atallah said. “And at this point, the league’s got to make a decision and the owners have to make a decision — are they willing to continue to trade or risk the integrity of the game for what amounts to really not that much money?”
While he was talking to Garafolo, Atallah apparently saw the final play of last night’s game for the first time, calling it “ridiculous.”
That’s something practically everyone can agree on this morning.