New Jersey politician tries to ban replacement refs


In a move that could cause the NFL problems for Giants and Jets home games, New Jersey state Senate President Stephen Sweeney has announced plans to introduce legislation that would prevent sports leagues from using replacement officials in the state.

Although Sweeney is reportedly a big Packers fan, he says that the reason he wants to ban the replacements is a concern for player safety.

“This past weekend in the NFL has not only made a mockery of a great sport, but shined a very bright light on how important fully trained and professional officiating is to player safety,” Sweeney said this morning. “We wouldn’t allow a factory or construction site to operate without fully trained supervisors on hand to ensure the safety of employees. Why should we do anything differently when the job site is a playing field?”

Sweeney made clear that he thinks players are at risk with replacements on the field.

“Whether the sport is football, soccer or baseball, when referees don’t know how to properly enforce the rules, there is a real chance for unnecessary and serious injury,” Sweeney said. “If the NFL insists on putting replacement officials on the field, putting players at risk, then the state shouldn’t be playing a part in that.”

This is probably bloviating from a politician more than it’s actually a path toward legislation that could end the lockout of the NFL’s referees. But with football fans across America complaining, it’s not surprising that politicians are complaining, too.

26 responses to “New Jersey politician tries to ban replacement refs

  1. Disney Corp has issued a statement asking the public to refrain from using Mickey Mouse references in respect to the NFL. “What did Mickey ever do to deserve this? complained one emotional executive at the company.

  2. a simple photo of your middle finger would have been just fine after this statement Goodell… This was your chance to apologize for the travesty you have created in the first three weeks of this season.
    Ive waited all year to watch these games, and three weeks later… well its just getting hard to watch. I was a rabid NBA fine until it became to questionable to tell if it was legit. with the amount of money on the line in vegas and the comments of refs as fans or fantasy owners… well its too easy to think that these refs who know they have a part time job might be willing to make a little extra money on the side. please, before this becomes another NBA bring the refs back! too many of us are starting to question the integrity of the game. Fix this before it becomes just another NBA.

  3. Stick to fleecing the taxpayers and stop whining. They made the correct call. my gosh I thought Patriots fans were the most obnoxious ever.
    Congrats Cheeseheads, you have just become the perfect example of an obnoxious sore loser.

  4. So I guess if he gets his way either the NJ Jets and the NJ Giants will forfeit all home games or they will play their home games as away games at the visitor’s stadium?

    I doubt local businesses will appreciate the ‘help’. . .

  5. It seems that folks are so used to politicians being completely detached, that when a politician actually tries to pursue an issue that people really, really care about, all we hear is “stick to politics”. Remember, folks, it’s his job to pursue the issues for YOU that YOU care about. That’s why you vote for them. That’s why they call them “representatives”.

  6. I don’t fully believe that players will necessarily be more safe with the regular refs because the referees don’t stop a big hit from happening they only throw the flag after the play has happened which does nothing for the player who just got jacked up. So the big difference imo is that the regular refs don’t stop devastating hits from happening they only penalize the team after they occur much more better than replacement refs.

  7. @bjenks10 – I didn’t realize that Salem and Cumberland counties were “North Jersey” now – since that’s the area that Sweeney represents. With your geography skills you should consider officiating.


  8. I am embarassed to live in NJ, and thankful that I live in South Jersey, where these idiot politicians need to keep their mouths shut.

    I would say get back to what you know, and leave the football to the football people, but judging by the state of our state, you dont know politics very well either.

    Dont spend my tax dollars on the NFL, or any other sport for that matter.

  9. Tech, it’s a game. The league will deal with it however they feel they should. The issues we want politicians to worry about are the ones that really matter like jobs, the economy, the debt, etc. I don’t think he or anyone else ran on the mantra of legislating sporting event issues. This is nothing but we always accuse politicians of doing….grandstanding and offering nothing of any real substance to justify why they are there.

  10. must be something in the water in Joisey…….

    How long before someone, for the safety of the players, demands full-time refs from Pop Warner on up. And the problem isn’t that the refs calls are as bad as much as they are pansies and letting the fans, coaches and players influence their decisions.

  11. 1) Thank goodness I live in South Jersey and away from the idiots.
    2) It was clear pass interference on Tate. That’s the main problem I have with the play.
    3) I don’t blame the refs at all. This is all on the NFL and NFLRA. Those two need to swallow their prides and get a fair deal done now.

  12. while I strongly agree that politicians should stay out of sports, it makes you wonder if this is payback for the Giants and Jets suing NJ for the shopping on Sunday B.S. This would surely get under the skins of Mara and Johnson of having local politicians threatening legislation against the NFL

  13. The uproar is only beginning. Now those that still watch the NFL will be emboldened to vocally defend their team from this horrible unfairness.

    People are outraged.

    Substandard officiating goes against truth, justice, and the American way.

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