Sweeney wants to ban NFL games with replacement refs

StephenSweeney: Pack loss was not a motivation.
StephenSweeney: Pack loss was not a motivation.
Posted: September 27, 2012

Sick of the replacement referees in the NFL this season? So is one powerful New Jersey legislator, who wants to put an end to indecisiveness, missed calls, and other cringe-worthy officiating - at least at Giants and Jets games.

State Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D., Gloucester) said Tuesday that he planned to introduce a bill banning professional sports events in New Jersey if they are officiated by fill-ins.

Replacement officials have been working games since the beginning of the season when the league locked out its referees because they resisted pension changes.

Sweeney said his motivation isn't that he is a fan of the Green Bay Packers, who lost in the last seconds Monday when the Seattle Seahawks scored a touchdown that appeared to be an interception.

His stated reason is the potential for injury to players resulting from inexperienced refs "who cannot control a game."

The league gave his bill a chilly response.

"We appreciate Sen. Sweeney's interest, but officiating controversies have always been a part of sports," said an e-mail from spokesman Brian McCarthy. "Our staff . . . has been in negotiations with the referees' union for the past week. We hope to reach agreement as soon as possible."


Contact Matt Katz at 609-217-8355, or mkatz@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @mattkatz00.

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