Steve Sweeney, president of the New Jersey Senate, has
introduced a bill that would prohibit professional sporting events replacing
referees with what he calls "scab" officials, calling it a safety
The NFL has been operating since the beginning of the season
with replacement officials due to a contract impasse, leading to heavy and
harsh criticism of the way games are being called and controlled, or not called
"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," said Sweeney in a statement
emailed to B&C from his office
late Tuesday. "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?"
"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."
That would, of course, affect the Giants and Jets, who play
in East Rutherford.
The Senate is not slated to meet again until Oct. 1.