As scab officials and the real referees adjust to their first Sunday in their proper roles I am still amazed at the corporate arrogance involved in the recent lockout of NFL referees. A couple of points come to mind.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker came out in support of ending the locout and bringing the real refs back. Ironic doesn’t quite describe it. While player safety and proper calling of the game are important this is what opened Scott Walker’s eyes? Does he imagine his out-of-the-blue attack on the public workers of Wisconsin had no effect on the kids whose teachers retired early to keep their pension, replaced with new hires of unproven quality? Did he miss the fact that cuts to BadgerCare, Wisconsin’s Medicaid program, wouldn’t leave some of the most vulnerable people including children, with nowhere else to turn when they were sick? Did he imagine those public servants that have taken care of seniors in nursing homes or hospitals for decades could have their collective bargaining rights taken away putting their pensions, wages, and careers at risk and not be distracted from taking care of grandma?
People like Scott Walker with Koch brother resources at his disposal or Roger Goodell, NFL Commissioner with his $20 million salary may feel they have the right to rule their world but in a democratic and civilized society all citizens should have their say in how this nation and their lives are structured. In the workplace, that is done through collective bargaining.
Amy Goodman of Democracy Now discusses the lockout with Dave Zirin who makes the point that things had gotten so bad some teams, notabley the Green Bay Packers were considering a sympathy strike if this had not been resolved. Solidarity is the only way to counter arrogant, corrupt corporate power. Go Packers!