It has been a sore point for me since before the regular season began. I do not like people who are cheap, especially rich people who are cheap when it comes to player safety and the integrity of their business, in this case the most popular professional game in America, pro football.
The rumblings from players has increased, as well as coaches. But when even some owners begin to publicly voice their reservations about not getting a deal done with the union representing game officials, or referees, then we know a tipping point is at hand.
"I know that we feel good about the offer we've made to the officials, but we can't have another week like this if we don't settle soon," one owner was quoted this weekend. "The amount of money we're talking about is not worth the embarrassment. This is our product."
Last season, the average NFL official made $149,000. The NFL wants to limit their pay increase to roughly 5 percent and convert their pension into a 401k plan. The gap in offers is roughly $2.3 million dollars per team spread out over several years, or less than $500,000 per team per year.
For this, we have been allowed to witness minor league officiating of a major league game. As we enter week 3 of the regular season, it is becoming apparent that the integrity of the game is increasingly at risk if the league continues to rely on these minor leaguers officiating in place of the locked out major league officials.
The owners run a monopoly business protected and subsidized by local, state and federal governments. Perhaps the President should protect America's favorite sports pastime and order the league to bring the regular officials back to work and authorize a federal mediator to deliver an arbitration settlement.
While it seems silly to bring presidential politics into the NFL in an election year, it also seems even sillier to allow the league to continue to ask for money from the taxpayer to the tune of billions of dollars over the course of the same time frame while they are locking out officials who make less per year than Mario Williams makes in one quarter of football.
The majority of the owners are obviously hypocrites and cheap, spoiled and ethically rotten. They deserve to be called out by the media, the fans, and the players for their pathetic treatment of the officials' union. I would love to see the President call them out as well, even if it would smack of politics.
Working people in America get abused enough these days. Those that perform their labor at the highest levels of their profession deserve to be treated with respect and dignity, and receive a good paycheck and a solid pension.
Enough is Enough. Pay the Men what they have earned. Get the Deal Done Now!