NFL “Ref Crisis 2012”: The Entertainment of Sports Over Fair Wages?

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2 Responses

  1. Ryan Graham says:

    First off, I must say you’ve done a lot here to shine some light on an interesting labor dispute that has uniquely grabbed national attention. You’re right — labor disputes and labor rights in general typically get scant attention.

    As both a football fan and a sociologist, though, I’d like to offer this minor feedback: the dispute in question was not a strike. It was a lockout. The refs did not vote to strike and engage in a work stoppage over the contract dispute. Rather, the NFL — namely, the owners of the NFL teams — refused to allow the refs to report to work unless the refs accepted changes to the contract with the union. In some ways — such as the use of replacement officials — the results are the same. But this entire dispute was initiated and carried out unilaterally by the NFL; they’re the ones that chose this, not the refs.

  2. ruthmarleen says:

    Thanks for that! I overlooked that and thought it was the same thing, since media reports talked about it as both a strike and lockout. Also, I didn’t really see a lot of news coverage about the owners of the NFL teams, that is a very interesting point! Thanks for pointing that out!

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