Senate president: Get rid of replacement refs

TRENTON – New Jersey’s Senate president wants to introduce legislation that would bar replacement refs from overseeing professional sporting events in the state.

Senate President Steve Sweeney’s office announced Tuesday the state Senate’s top lawmaker wants to prohibit “scab officials” from working professional sporting events. Sweeney, citing the potential for increased injury, says the “litany of missed calls or blatantly miscalled penalties over the first three weeks of the National Football League” underscores the importance of such legislation, according to the release.

“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. “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?”

Sweeney accused the NFL of “putting players at risk” of injury and said the state “shouldn’t be playing a part in that.”

“Whether the sport is football, soccer or baseball, when referees don’t know how to properly enforce the rules, there is a real chance for unnecessary and serious injury,” he said.

Senate president: Get rid of replacement refs