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NFLPA issues statement to players on referee lockout

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There have been no shortage of responses Tuesday to the end of Monday night’s game between the Packers and Seahawks and now NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith has weighed in on the matter.

Smith’s take is quite different from those that focus on the call of simultaneous possession by Packers safety M.D. Jennings and Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate of the final pass of the game. Smith continues to focus on the ongoing lockout of the officials as an issue of player safety that didn’t change because of the final ruling on the field on Monday night and by the NFL’s decision to affirm the decision on Tuesday.

“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,” Smith said in the statement. “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.”

The entire text of Smith’s statement can be found here.

Smith also said that the union is reviewing all potential actions to protect the players. NFLPA assistant executive director for external affairs George Atallah told Mike Garafolo of USA TODAY Tuesday that there wasn’t much the players could do to bring the impasse to an end. Atallah said that it was up to the league to decide if they are “willing to continue to trade or risk the integrity of the game for what amounts to really not that much money” in that conversation.

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35 Responses to “NFLPA issues statement to players on referee lockout”
  1. tpa43 says: Sep 25, 2012 5:21 PM

    Players should refuse to play under the conditions until the refs return

  2. jimnaizeeum says: Sep 25, 2012 5:24 PM

    If Smith and the players feel that strongly they can change it with a strike…but that really don’t care about it enough to lose $$.

  3. contra74 says: Sep 25, 2012 5:24 PM

    Score more points so that its not left up to the refs to decide a game in the end. Simple as that.

  4. bovice23 says: Sep 25, 2012 5:25 PM

    It’s only Tuesday and I’m fed up of hearing about the officials.

  5. cali49er707 says: Sep 25, 2012 5:25 PM

    You got a mult billion dollar league. Billion dollar owners. Million dollar athletes.And having games being officiated & players being protected by 10 cent officials. Incredible!!!

  6. easyeddie says: Sep 25, 2012 5:26 PM

    Player safety? What BS. The players are the ones who cause injury to one another.

  7. matt14gg says: Sep 25, 2012 5:26 PM

    Empty threat. If the PA was going to do something they would just do it. This is a just a threat that Smith knows the players will NOT agree to follow through on. Why? Cuz they don’t care enough to have it cost them a paycheck.

  8. eagleswin says: Sep 25, 2012 5:28 PM

    You have to love the NFLPA press releases for their comedic content.

    1. If you think the money is that minimal i’m sure the NFL would be happy to let you pay the difference? No? Then maybe you shouldn’t be commenting about a bill you aren’t willing to pay yourself. Let’s keep in mind that 50% of league revenue goes to the players.

    2. The NFLPA never mentions the accountability aspect of the negotiations. It’s easier to slam the NFL about the money than to make an accurate substantial response.

    3. The NFLPA believes that the NFLRA has no part in this. The NFLRA is a union and therefore is always entitled to what they ask for.

    4. Why bother with a separate press release, it’s basically the same garbage they posted last week?

  9. theseekeroffun says: Sep 25, 2012 5:29 PM

    Rodgers is the only person in the NFL that has any kahones! I hope he does not get fined for his comments, but he was point on. The leagues statement was BS, D. Smith’s statement was BS, Jerry’s comments were BS and I am a Cowboy’s fan.
    There is no room for this nonsense in the NFL.
    Where is the leadership? Enough is a enough…..

  10. drbrown7451 says: Sep 25, 2012 5:31 PM

    NFL owners have never really cared about safety. They care about the revenue stream $$$$.

  11. mp42245 says: Sep 25, 2012 5:31 PM

    Looks like a sickout would be in order if I were running things

  12. greymares says: Sep 25, 2012 5:34 PM

    I have heard about this BLOWN call all day. the truth is if the G.B. defender did what i guarantee he was taught to do on this play KNOCK IT DOWN. the call would be a non issue.

  13. mrpowers88 says: Sep 25, 2012 5:41 PM

    Keeping whining about how regular refs would be so beneficial for player safety NFLPA- it sounds so genuine.

    Last time I checked, the regular refs (even Ed Hochuli) aren’t some kind of kevlar shield against hits on QBs and defenseless receivers. Would the hits on Heyward-Bey and Schaub not have happened if the regular refs were on the field?

    How bout the NFLPA starts some kind of program about guys not literally trying to rip the opposition’s head off? Refs (regular or replacement) aren’t going to be able to prevent devastating hits from happening.

  14. wte1 says: Sep 25, 2012 5:45 PM


    Like it or not, in the end your players are very much “Product” on the field.

  15. hurlbutb says: Sep 25, 2012 5:55 PM

    Why isn’t anyone looking at M.D. Jennings as playing the ball incorrectly? I agree that it was a blown call but don’t coaches teach DB’s and Safeties to “knock the ball down”! Don’t tip it or go for the interception. I haven’t heard one person call out the defense for this. Had he knocked it down the ref’s would have had a much easier call to make.

  16. realdealsteel says: Sep 25, 2012 5:59 PM

    Players should play this Sunday, then the NFLPA should issue a statement saying the League has one week to settle with the officials or there will be no games played by the players in week# 5. That will be all the pressure that the owners need to settle. They can’t afford to miss the revenue of one week of football.

  17. SparkyGump says: Sep 25, 2012 6:06 PM

    The referee lockout is yet another example of greedy billionaire NFL owners grabbing for more money because they think they can. Disgusting.

  18. r8rsfan says: Sep 25, 2012 6:10 PM

    Put your money where your mouth is.

  19. broncos4ever says: Sep 25, 2012 6:14 PM

    The Blown Call is actually the offensive Pass Interference not called on Tate in the end zone on Shields before the catch .If P. I. is called the game is over catch doesn’t happen.

  20. thegreatgabbert says: Sep 25, 2012 6:15 PM

    @greymares…you’ve heard about the “BLOWN call” all day, because that is what it was. You’ll keep on hearing about it for the rest of the season because it was such an obvious, blatant, error. Which the league has had several opportunities to overturn and failed to do so. Now they have to live with it for perpetuity.

  21. theblowtorchreview says: Sep 25, 2012 6:16 PM

    These guys wont strike over this. Without the check coming in for child support, Bentleys, manisons, bling, etc etc etc thses guys would be bankrupt in a few weeks.

  22. chi01town says: Sep 25, 2012 6:18 PM

    All this because the packers LOST so what … Greenbay got cheated…
    It aint nobodys falt BUT Greenbay’s.
    How did Seattle stay in the game with a rookie QB ? How did Rodgers get sacked 8 times before half time? Why didnt greenbay put Driver in the game? an what about all those droped passes by packers WR’s? …. Packers coach going for 2 in the second quarter… This is why they Lost the game

  23. iamchris81 says: Sep 25, 2012 6:25 PM

    If the players cared that much about it, they should offer up their money in order to get the real refs back in. Money talks as they say…

  24. roadbiscuit says: Sep 25, 2012 6:28 PM

    When the player is entirely airborne and the only place he can bat the ball has other players in it, the only smart thing to do is catch it. Otherwise, you get what happened to the Titans against the Lions. It’s never one size fits all out there. He did catch it and maintained possession till he was on the ground. There’s almost universal agreement about that from analysts, writers, and witnesses.

  25. cwwgk says: Sep 25, 2012 6:28 PM

    How about some data to back the conclusory statement that the replacement refs cause an unsafe work environment? Have there been more injuries than years past?

    In typical fashion the NFLPA will take any opportunity it can to oppose the league. In regards to injuries, it’s union members v. union members. By why take action within the ranks and accept accountability when the union can point the finger at someone else?


  26. gtodriver says: Sep 25, 2012 6:50 PM

    roadbiscuit says:

    “When the player is entirely airborne and the only place he can bat the ball has other players in it, the only smart thing to do is catch it.”

    They were near the back corner of the endzone and there was no one behind him.

    Spike the ball/bat the ball out of the endzone – game over.

    By trying to catch it, he allowed Tate the opportunity to also get his hands on it.

    TD Seattle – game over.

  27. walletweb says: Sep 25, 2012 6:52 PM

    at this point the whole thing is a farce. I’m not watching any games, making any posts on PFT or buying any NFL sponsored stuff until the lockout ends.

  28. makimaguro says: Sep 25, 2012 7:39 PM

    Yeah. The NFLPA is such a front runner in integrity. Bottom line – the players and the refs work for the owners and the league. If I bitch that much about my employer they would sh** can me in a heart beat.

    I have no sympathy for million dollar players or $150/ refs. If you don’t like your job quit please.

  29. sixburghrules says: Sep 25, 2012 8:12 PM

    The penalty on Tate could have been missed by the real refs as well. And they made the right call on possession. I like GB as my 2nd team but I am not going to throw the replacement refs under the bus.

    My Steelers lost this week b/c they left Oakland get back into the game in the 2nd half should not have come down to a last minute drive. As for the coaches I think Harbaugh, Fox and Bellichek should have been fined.

  30. deiong says: Sep 25, 2012 8:51 PM

    the real refs blow just as many games as has the replacements? so whats the big deal????

  31. ilovefoolsball says: Sep 25, 2012 9:31 PM

    The peril oh Godell’s unchecked power. The Super Bowl winner will be tarnished as the team who won with fake refs.

  32. richc111 says: Sep 25, 2012 9:44 PM

    This whole response from the NFLPA would carry more weight if the next time a player is fined for spearing a QB in the head with their helmet, the union wouldn’t let them appeal everything. After all it is about the safety of the players right!

  33. ronin36 says: Sep 25, 2012 9:51 PM

    For those saying.. “just knock it down”.

    Sam Shields would have had perfect position to knock it down, or catch it.. or whatever.

    Had he not been pushed off, the ball would have never gotten to Jennings or Tate. Shields would have had caught ot blocked the ball… game over.

    For those that say “GB should be ashamed of it’s offense for allowing 8 sacks.” It was that very same offense that worked it way back into the game, and dominated the 3rd and 4th quarters with long clock eating drives and took the lead.

  34. easyeddie says: Sep 25, 2012 9:53 PM

    cwwgk says: Sep 25, 2012 6:28 PM

    How about some data to back the conclusory statement that the replacement refs cause an unsafe work environment? Have there been more injuries than years past?

    In typical fashion the NFLPA will take any opportunity it can to oppose the league. In regards to injuries, it’s union members v. union members. By why take action within the ranks and accept accountability when the union can point the finger at someone else?

    The NFLPA is still trying to justify to its players how “tough” they are to make them forget about the crappy collective bargaining agreement they negotiated with the league last year.

  35. briang123 says: Sep 25, 2012 11:39 PM

    If the NFLPA is truly worried about player safety, they need to tell their rank-and-file to stop taking advantage of the substitute teachers out there.

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