In June of this year the National Football League’s referee’s union organized a lockout to pressure the NFL team owners into agreeing to a new contract. Without a compromise made the 2012 professional football season had begun to be officiated by nonunion referees. This dubious decision, made by the owners, to replace the professional officials might have gone unchecked had it not been for the advances made in today’s communications.
The mistakes that have been made by the replacement refs over the last three weeks have sent the internet social networks and blogs into an uproar. However it’s clear, that none of these have drawn more attention than a game defining call that was made on last Monday night’s game, between the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks. Videos of the blatant incorrect decision, made by the games officials, went viral on the internet almost instantly.
The calls for the owners to meets the referee union’s demands had, up until Monday night, been able to be ignored. According to Twitter, Green Bay Packers offensive lineman T.J. Lang’s Twitter post about the incident in two days became the most “retweeted” comment in history. People all across the nation joined in to fight for the union referees. Even President Obama and the GOP nominee Mitt Romney have publicly commented about the issue. Coincidently enough 3 days later the league owners agreed to the union terms, putting an end to the lockout.
Had all of this happened before social communications and the media converged the way it has the knowledge of each game’s isolated incidents would have most like gone unnoticed. Or at most the stories, of the officiating blunders, would have been vaguely retold, during office water cooler conversations. With today’s social awareness and the ever echoing voice, of any individual ready to “autocorrect” the errors of the world, the “powers that be” finally are forced to listen…Thank you internet and welcome back competent football referees.