Why are the NFL refs locked out? It's all in the game
However, like the high-skilled workers at a Honeywell uranium plant in Metropolis, Illinois, learned after a fourteen-month lockout, today's bosses rarely listen to appeals about safety. Furthermore, as they learned, the longer the lockout drags on, the more time employers have to increase the quality of their replacement workers. The quality of the godawful refereeing on display will, with time, improve as well.
John Paul Smith, who was one of those Honeywell workers that suffered through the lockout, which ended in August of 2011, says now that having been through the pain of a lockout himself, there is no way he could watch the NFL this year. John Paul Smith is now calling on other fans to boycott watching as well, knowing that the only way to make the owners back off is if they feel it in their wallets.
"I have been a Dolphins fan since I was in the fifth grade and I can't watch shit. It's killing me," said Smith. If Goodell and friends don't care about the refs, the health of their players, or the quality of the games, then maybe they'll care about that: people like John Paul Smith turning away from the game until NFL owners remember that owning the game doesn't mean owning the people who officiate it.
Named one of UTNE Reader's "50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Our World," Dave Zirin is the sports editor for The Nation magazine. Mike Elk is a labor journalist and third-generation union organizer based in Washington, D.C. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the authors.
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