The NFLPA sounded their opinion on the situation. They were concerned, and seem to fall on the referees’ side:
“The NFL Players Association is concerned about the NFL’s decision to lock out professional referees and recruit scabs to serve as referees in NFL games for the 2012 season,” the statement reads. “In 2011, the NFL tasked officials with increased responsibilities in protecting player health and safety, and its search for scabs undermines that important function. Professional athletes require professional referees, and we believe in the NFL Referees Association’s trained first responders. The NFLPA will continue to monitor the league’s actions in this situation.”
Don’t put much stock in the players siding with the referees. Their relationship with the league has been tenuous since the negotiations last year, and now with Bountygate it has been even worse. Their siding against the league really isn’t a surprise.
This obviously won’t get the same type of press that the lockout of 2011 received. This will be interesting, though, especially if it lingers until the start of the season. We all have varying opinions as to the performance of the current refs, it might get worse with the replacements, though let’s hope not.