NFL referees have been locked out since June 3, and replacement officials have been working preseason games since August 5. CBS Sports national columnist Gregg Doyel joined Bill Littlefield to discuss the latest in the recent cavalcade of pro sports lockouts.
Not surprisingly, Doyel said the main obstacle to an agreement between the league and the refs is money.
“The NFL wants some of these guys to work full-time and is willing to pay them as much as $175,000, and the refs are saying ‘If you want us to work full-time, then you’re going to have to pay us like baseball refs,'” Doyel said. “Well, baseball refs work 160 games a year, literally 10 times as much as football refs.”
This week the NFL Referee’s Association threw a flag at the league for what it called “false and/or misleading” statements regarding ongoing negotiations between the NFL and the NFLRA on a new contract.
“Do you think [NFL commissioner] Roger Goodell plays fair?” Doyel said. “The guy plays to win. He’s not above sending out misleading information.”
NFL officials work 15 games per season, and the average pay is $149,000 a year. Should the fact that they’re technically part-time employees who can work other jobs during the week and during the long offseason undermine their complaint that they haven’t had a pay raise since 2006?
“They lose me when they say, ‘Well, NBA referees make this much, and baseball referees make that much,'” Doyel said. “Well, those guys are on the road all year long, and it’s just non-stop travel and games.”