In the aftermath of Monday’s night’s monumentally blown call (ie. the Golden Tate TD Catch-That-Wasn’t), Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers has proven to be a fine spokesperson for The NFL Referees Association, while Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker found himself in the unusual position of supporting a labor union. Hoping to avoid future incidents closer to home (ie. East Rutherford, NJ), New Jersey State Senate President Steve Sweeney (above) claims he’ll introduce legislation banning professional sporting events with replacement officials in the Garden State. Not at all influenced by the fact he’s a Packers fan, Sweeney is citing workplace safety for the g
randstanding gallant endeavor. From The Gloucester County Times’ Jarrett Renshaw :
“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 in a statement. “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 said that replacement officials also lower the quality of play, devaluing the often large investments fans have made in tickets.
“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,” said Sweeney. “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.”