NFLPA accuses owners of “greed” for locking out referees


The executive committee of the NFL Players Association has formally asked the league’s owners to end the referee lockout, accusing the owners of greed for keeping the best refs off the field.

In a letter sent to the owners last week and posted on the NFLPA’s website today, the players’ union questions why the owners are telling Commissioner Roger Goodell to squeeze the best deal he can out of the refs, instead of getting the best refs he can on the field.

“It is lost on us as to how you allow a Commissioner to cavalierly issue suspensions and fines in the name of player health and safety yet permit the wholesale removal of the officials that you trained and entrusted to maintain that very health and safety,” the letter states. “It has been reported that the two sides are apart by approximately $60,000 per team. We note that your Commissioner has fined an individual player as much in the name of ‘safety.’ Your actions are looking more and more like simple greed. As players, we see this game as more than the “product” you reference at times. You cannot simply switch to a group of cheaper officials and fulfill your legal, moral, and duty obligations to us and our fans. You need to end the lockout and bring back the officials immediately.”

The letter is signed by the members of the NFLPA’s executive committee: Domonique Foxworth, Charlie Batch, Cornelius Bennett, Drew Brees, Brian Dawkins, Scott Fujita, Matt Hasselbeck, Brandon Moore, Jeff Saturday, Mickey Washington, Brian Waters and Benjamin Watson. At a time when players like Joe Flacco and Aaron Rodgers have publicly decried the subpar work of the replacement refs, it’s not surprising that their union is formally asking the owners to ditch the replacements and bring back the regular refs.

So far, there are no indications that the owners are listening to what the players think.

49 responses to “NFLPA accuses owners of “greed” for locking out referees

  1. Here’s a question for the NFLRA: have there been more fines related to player safety during the 2 weeks the replacement refs have worked than during an average 2 weeks last year?

    I rather doubt it.

    People can blather on about the refs “being responsible” for player safety all they want, but the Refs don’t stop anything, they just throw flags after the fact. As always, the onus player safety rests squarely on the shoulders of the players and coaches.

  2. Next step should be a threat “not to play under said conditions.” Perhaps they may listen to that,

  3. And take a look at all of the fines this week. How can you fine these guys when you have refs that can’t enforce the rules on the field because they don’t know them. If the refs can’t get ahold of these games, the players should not be fined for being able to do what the refs allow them to. And some of these new ‘fines’ are absurd! It’s like Goodell is trying to get a new stream of money coming in!

  4. Will they all be as vocal on every tick tack call when the regular refs do come back and stink up the joint the way they have every NFL season? Doubtful. The replacements haven’t been that great but the one thing I’m enjoying is they are actually letting defenses play. It’s nice not seeing a flag on every small touch a defender gets. Let them play the game. (notice it’s mostly offensive players b*tching and moaning when past couple seasons it’s been the defensive players complaining)

  5. i agree. the net worth of the nfl is currently 6 billion dollars. thats BILLION. do it not only for the players but also the fans!

  6. As were the players during their negotiation. It’s how this stuff works. You ask for more. Dumb comment.

  7. Brilliant accusation……..and in other news, the NFLPA claims that the sky is blue. This has been a report from the insanely obvious news network.

  8. What about the damn regular refs? They’re the one constantly complaining about safety and the quality of the officiating, but they’re ALSO holding out for money.

    It’s the same exact thing the NFL is doing except they have no leverage since the NFL has a policy without them, hell they even tried to grandfather the better pensions basically admitting the union refs prefer more money whether the game is damaged or not.

  9. “We note that your Commissioner…”
    This attitude is much of the problem between the players and the league. Like it or not, Goodell is the commissioner for the entire league and that includes the players as well.

    “the commissioner” or “our commissioner” would have been less divisive and the word choice is quite telling of things to come.

  10. At first i liked how Goodell was putting the trouble makers in check. But “God”ell has gone too far. From the referees to bounty scandal and fining the crap out of everyone for even borderline hits. Not that anyone can do anything about it

  11. Hopefully the regular refs holdout indefintely and the NFL fires them all and start training a new crew this off season. I would like to see all unions go bust. They are nothing but trouble for anyone outside the union.

    As far as greed the NFL and NFLPA are both the same.

  12. Perhaps the NFLPA should send a memo to all players asking them to ensure they are playing at an appropriate level to ensure the safety of all members. Safety starts with the players. The refs arent lowering heads and causing concussions.

  13. “i agree. the net worth of the nfl is currently 6 billion dollars. thats BILLION. do it not only for the players but also the fans!”

    I strongly disagree. Just because the NFL is making 6 billion (thanks to the players, owners and fans) NOT the overpaid refs who want no accountability. You really want to give a group of people that bring in absolutely no revenue and don’t want to be held responsible for the mistakes they make every week and game more money?

    Maybe if the NFLPA was so concerned they’d give more money to the Retired Players that actually helped build the NFL.

  14. The NFL cringes anytime there is an arrest or a scandal or anything that they perceive will tarnish the image of their “product”.

    Yet, they seem perfectly fine with trotting out a subpar officiating crew to oversee their fine product while still collecting millions from fans and the networks.


  15. maybe im off base and ignorant to the subject but if i was the nfl i wouldnt want to shell out all this money for part time officials either.

    from what i been reading on pft and others is the locked out officials already have other nice jobs which is the reason they wont committ to full time..why not give the jobs to people who dont already bank at other jobs. why not give the jobs to people who need the money rather than already high paid lawyers, or w.e the profession might be. it would be full time, 6 figure salary for people who need it rather than people who already have it.

  16. Dear NFLPA.

    It is lost on me how you choose to throw stones while remaining mum onn the situation of your constituents placinb bounties on each other and conspiring to willfilly hurt each other. In fact you continue to fight us on the discipline of the perpetrators.
    So drop the sham. The only thing you are interested in is strenthening your position to pilfer what you claim we want….more money.

  17. I can’t imagine that penny-pinching isn’t going to make them have to settle for a lot more on the concussion lawsuit. And the NFLPA knows that and is putting the injury-related pressure on them. Eventually, the potential increased cost of the lawsuit from going cheap on refs is going to cost more than paying the refs…so they might as well just do it.

  18. Where does one ref stop a safety issue until after the fact. They throw a flag after a hit not before. Safety come on, that is the catch all this year. Smith and the union are not without fault and for them to throw out words is somewhat bogus.

  19. What the NFLPA doesn’t understand is just because you CAN afford something, doesn’t mean you SHOULD. I don’t expect them to understand considering 75% of them are bankrupt after leaving the game, while the league continues to get stronger and stronger.

    Obviously the NFL has plenty of money to throw around… that’s not in question. What is in question is what is fair for paying guys who work 17 days out of the year. Several hundreds of thousands of dollars along with a pension plan is more than fair…

    This one is on the refs. They’re the ones being greedy.

  20. Hahaha the union calling the nfl greedy and in the statement explains that goodell has to much power but gave that power to him for what? Oh that’s right, MORE MONEY. Ironic isn’t it

  21. “The NFL cringes anytime there is an arrest or a scandal or anything that they perceive will tarnish the image of their “product”.

    Nothing that has happened the first 2 weeks has tarnished the game or image anymore then in previous seasons to me. I’m actually watching for the game and not nit picking every penalty call. How about the previous refs (EH who actually cost a team a win on a call.) That didn’t tarnish the image of the game? These are the competent, “we want no accountability” people you want to pay more money and are begging to get back?

    I’ve been enjoying the NFL just as much as ever replacement refs or not.

  22. Player Safety – The NFLPA has resisted and ignored every safety measure the league has tried to implement. They flat out refuse to discuss requiring the latest in concussion resistant helmets, wearing leg pads, etc. Apparantly they all need more study?

    Testing for illegal performance enhancing drugs (which you would think the majority of the membership would like) – They have flat out stonewalled HGH testing ever since they agreed to to in the CBA. It’s in the CBA and the NFLPA still won’t let the NFL test for it!

    Lawsuits – The NFLPA and it’s players, instead of working with the NFL, sues them for anything and everything. We currently have a player petittioning the supreme court questioning Goodell’s authority to suspend him for providing a NONHUMAN urine sample. The sample is not in dispute but he’s appealing all the way to the supreme court to not be suspending for doing so.

    If DeSmith wasn’t so successful in creating discord the players might actually see that he is leading them down a path to ruin but half the players graduated college without attending classes.

  23. A bunch of part time employees are demanding – DEMANDING – a fully funded pension. And they have the nerve to call the owners greedy?

    I say the owners are savvy businessmen who are trying not to spend money if they don’t have to. The NFLRA is the greedy one in this scenario…demanding more of someone else’s money.

  24. Maybe it’s time to re-think the way the entire game is officiated. The replacement refs are bad, but every season, the normal refs demonstrate how bad and mistake prone they are as well.

    So the theory is: “less bad” > “more bad”

    It’s time for a new approach. For starters, the NFL needs to institute a “war room” for game days like the NHL does. Take the on-field refs completely out of the review process. This will speed up the game and all but eliminate botched reviews, like the one in Jets-steelers last week.

    The method of “watch play, look for penalty, throw flag, blow whistle” has never evolved. Yet, the players have become much stronger and faster and the offensive/defensive schemes have become much more complex. We essentially have a modern day city built on an ancient infrastructure. In today’s technology driven world there has to be better ways to officiate these games. I don’t pretend to have answers, but it is a fundamental problem that needs addressed with new and creative solutions.

  25. ” You cannot simply switch to a group of cheaper officials and fulfill your legal, moral, and duty obligations to us and our fans. ”

    What legal obligation does the NFL owe the players or fans ?

  26. The NFLRA is doing a great job of trying to spend someone else’s money. In theory, they could collectively bargain to split the money.

    I’m sure there are some concerns about safety but it is the players playing beyond the rules that are likely to cause any injury that would not have happened if the regular refs were working.

    It seems the union could pressure the players to play within the rules to take care of their own. I think there needs to be compromise to end the lockout and allow the refs to save face. However, the union, as led by Dee is completely disingenuous.

  27. These dudes want 6 figures and a pension that’s most gov agency’s don’t have, for only 5 months of work? Fareal? Maybe if you’re a Ed Hoculi type.. 15 plus years of official. They get grades so pay them accordingly..Every Ref in the NFL dosent deserve the same pay or pension/benefits package

  28. Aslong as we keep watching, why should the #NFL even budge? If this last any longer you’re going to see officials who need that 5 months of work breaking from the Union to collect a paycheck. When that happens the NFL will have no reason to even negotiate. And if it last the whole season the NFL can say the officials are up to speed after working a whole season and continued off-season training. Check & Mate NFL

  29. “So far, there are no indications that the owners are listening to what the players think.”

    Well said.

  30. Yeah as if the players insatiable greed hasn’t driven up the cost of seats, beer, food, parking, merchandise and everything else related to the league by a significant amount

    Pot meet kettle

    Might want to look in the mirror while you’re at it

  31. mrbigass says: Sep 23, 2012 11:36 AM

    Yet, they seem perfectly fine with trotting out a subpar officiating crew to oversee their fine product while still collecting millions from fans and the networks.=

    And the refs union wants to prevent subpar refs from getting fired.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.