SPORTS
09/25/2012 06:07 pm ET

Replacement Refs Banned? Steve Sweeney, NJ Senate President, Only Wants Real Officials Permitted

One politician in New Jersey has decided to take action against the NFL in the wake of the officiating debacle in Seattle on "Monday Night Football."

The Packers, fans of all NFL teams and members of the media have made it clear that they are extremely upset with the result in the game between the Packers and Seahawks. Even politicians are voicing their displeasure with the NFL over the locking out of the regular referees. Appearing on WCBS 880 with Steve Scott, New Jersey State Senate President Steve Sweeney announcing that he will move to ban all sporting events with replacement officials.

"This past weekend in the NFL has not only made a mockery of a great sport, but shined a very bright light on how important fully trained and professional officiating is to player safety,” Sweeney said, via CBS New York. “We wouldn’t allow a factory or construction site to operate without fully trained supervisors on hand to ensure the safety of employees. Why should we do anything differently when the job site is a playing field?”

On the final play of "Monday Night Football" with Seattle trailing 12-7, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson threw a pass into the end zone. Packers safety M.D. Jennings appeared to intercept it in mid-air as he jumped over three other defenders and Seahawks receiver Golden Tate. On the way down to the ground, however, Tate had a hand on the ball and a replacement official ruled it as simultaneous possession (even though another official signaled otherwise), resulting in a game-winning touchdown for Seattle. The touchdown was then upheld after a review.

The call sparked outrage among players around the league and according to ESPN's SportsCenter Twitter account, more than 70,000 voicemails were left at the NFL offices after the game.

Sweeney ripped the NFL for "having the nerve to put this product out" and speculated whether the league would put an asterisk next to this season's Super Bowl champion in the record books. When asked what the New York Giants and New York Jets would do if Sweeney's ban actually passed -- both teams play their games at MetLife Stadium located in New Jersey -- Sweeney said they'll "probably ignore us."

A slightly more well-known politician, President Barack Obama, also voiced his opinion on the replacement officials.


"I've been saying for months, we've gotta get our refs back,"
Obama also said, according to White House pool report.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) and GOP vice-presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) also spoke up against the NFL's use of replacement referees.

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