Upon further review, NFL has more to say to NFLRA


The NFL Referees Association is a small organization representing a constituency of a few hundred game officials.

The NFL has a well-oiled public relations machine, one that’s running smoothly after going through a lockout with the players last offseason.

So the league is firing back at claims by the NFLRA that they’re negotiating in bad faith, and tried to force a bad deal on the officials.

The league has sent out a statement clarifying a few points, insisting they have “a great respect for our officials” and that “we are available to meet with the NFLRA at any time to negotiate a new contract.”

As we wrote earlier, the league contends their seven-year proposal raises the bar for pay.

As to the NFLRA suggestion that the pension issues are as big a concern, the NFL points out that no official would lose any vested benefits, and that they wanted to move toward a 401(k) style program instead. The league cited a New York Times story which said only 17 percent of American workers have a defined benefit plan, saying many were freezing similar pension in favor of the “defined contribution” plan. The league said its latest proposal could provide a larger benefit than the old plan as well, offering “to contribute $16,500 per official in 2012 and increase that amount to almost $23,000 by 2018.”

But the league saved bullets for the claim that replacement officials would compromise the game.

The NFL said they only began hiring replacements from the ranks of retired or lower level football when the NFLPA informed them they were authorizing union leadership to call a strike.

While the NFLRA repeatedly referred to “scabs” during Wednesday’s call, the league refers to them as “experienced and high-quality officials”

“We have made substantial investments in training despite the efforts of the NFLRA to denigrate the replacements and disrupt the training process,” the league statement said.

“Our goal is to maintain the highest quality of officiating for our teams, players, and fans, including proper enforcement of the playing rules and efficient management of our games,” the statement read. ““We are confident that these game officials will enforce rules relating to player safety. Contrary to NFLRA leadership, we do not believe that players will “play dirty” or intentionally break the rules.”

The NFLRA stance is essentially that officials weren’t offered enough of a raise over what they received in 2006.

That’s not an argument that resonates with many, and it’s likely the officials will realize they don’t benefit from the same kind of public sympathy players enjoyed, the kind which could put some degree of pressure on the league.

10 responses to “Upon further review, NFL has more to say to NFLRA

  1. All this is doing to officials is putting there benefits under a microscope for everyone to envy… It may make people despise them more than some already do…

  2. Referees turn to the fans for support. That will work. I guess they thought the crowd was throwing coins, beverage containers, and batteries at them to help supplement their income.

  3. It’s not a matter of fan sympathy, the difference between the players lockout and the refs lockout is that without the players, there is no football. Without the refs, they just hire replacements and football continues relatively unchanged.

  4. smacklayer says:Jul 18, 2012 6:39 PM

    It’s not a matter of fan sympathy, the difference between the players lockout and the refs lockout is that without the players, there is no football. Without the refs, they just hire replacements and football continues relatively unchanged.

    Have you seen that new invention, called College Football? It isnt like it is over 100 years old or anything. I prefer the pro game to the college game, but I watch both. And although missing the pros I was accustomed to seeing would have been different, football is football

  5. I find the thought of a complete different bunch of refs intriguing. Although the new bunch may influence games just as much with their calls, it is less likely to be done intentionally.

  6. Maybe when they can get a call right we will show sympathy. Never has a win been so one sidedly called as the giants vs packers in the playoffs. You could make a case that the giants would have had a few more wins had the refs not been involved(see packers vs giants reg season. One touchdown no call for the giants(42) one none touchdown called a touchdown (31) giants win easily

  7. First of all, it just confirms for me the NoFunLeague’s strategy of starting every negotiation with a lockout and working backward.

    Second, the players won’t respect the scabs (unless they find one with guns like Hochuli’s) and all kinds of after the whistle action is going to take place and players get hurt.

    Third, it will be all fun and games for the NFL until a scab makes a rookie mistake and costs Peyton Manning a game. Then the serious negotiations will begin. (For instance, the overtime rules were fine for forty years, until a camera shot of Peyton’s bitter beer face sitting on the bench as the other team got the toss and drove for a game winning field goal changed all that)

    I have too much free time. I need a hobby. My uncle says smoking crack is pretty cool.

  8. Pensions are a thing of the past for most Americans. No sympathy for the zebras on that. Teachers, government workes and public force workers are about it that have pensions. 401K are the current way of life. I contribute to mine every pay check and have more control over my retirement then a pension allows.

    The NFL is not wrong to negotiate as they do not owe the officials anything. All of this talk about “scabs” not being as good? The real officials suck anyway.

  9. The league is offering to contribute more to these guys 401ks a year more than I make in a year! These guys are part time, and they do not work the entire year! so for roughly 5 months work (or less), they make their salary AND retirement! I have no paid holidays, vacations, benfits, retirements, and THEY are complaining?!

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