What I Have To Say About Sports And Other Stuff
Dear Roger Goodell:
You don’t know me, but I am a football fan and a concerned citizen. I would like to express my concern over the replacement referee situation. Please do not write me off as I can guarantee you have received much vitriol from all angles on this subject but I would like to plead more to your heart than your wallet.
While I think this issue is — and has been — overcovered in the media throughout the preseason and into the regular season, the concerns of the players, coaches and fan base have their weight.
I am not taking sides by writing to you exclusively, but rather feel you as the head of such an illustrious, profitable and respected organization hold the responsibility to move this along. You don’t need me to tell you you hold the cards in this situation and I will not spend time in this letter pretending I know what the true issues are. No matter how I much I read about it, only you and the referees know what is preventing this issue from being settled.
All I am asking is that you bring this to the negotiating table. You are cheapening your product and threatening the safety of your players by letting this lockout continue. Last year your biggest mission was to lessen player injuries and increase safety by addressing the concussion issue. Take action to show the fans and players you truly do care about this issue enough to bring knowledgeable referees back into the game. I beg you, do not wait until it is too late and you are left to deal with the consequences of a replacement referee’s mistake.
I am sure these gentlemen that have stepped in are competent at their jobs, but this is a major sport and one that carries a lot of weight both in people’s lives and people’s livelihoods. Just because fans are continuing to watch, doesn’t mean they like what they see.
Again, I am not going to pretend I know what the true intricacies are with this lockout issue. All I know is referees have an incredibly important and stressful job that comes with a lot of scrutiny. They should be compensated accordingly. I am not going to pretend I’m not incensed they get paid four times as much as I do for “part-time” work, but I also recognize I would never and could never do their jobs just on pure pressure-filled situations and competency alone.
I am not saying you need to acquiesce to all their demands but be open to mediation. Not only bringing this back to the table, but recognizing that in a situation like this you might have to give a little too. Compromise will be better for you in the long-term and sanctifies your product.
Do the right thing as the leader of the NFL. Being the leader comes with great benefits, but also great responsibility. Use that for the benefit of the greater good.