Push to Ban Replacement Refs from NJ

Politicians are weighing in on the replacement referee debacle. One is even trying to ban them from the Garden State.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Eagles renew their rivalry with the Giants Sunday night. And you can expect to see replacement officials on the field, despite that controversial call last night in Seattle. Now a New Jersey lawmaker says it's all garbage. He wants to ban the back-up refs from his state! NBC10's Rosemary Connors has the story.

    The embarrassing NFL referee saga and the disputed call that gave the Seattle Seahawks a victory over the Green Bay Packers on Monday night has reached the campaign for the White House, with President Barack Obama deeming it ``terrible'' and declaring it was time to get regular officiating crews back on the job.

    ``I've been saying for months we've got to get our refs back,'' Obama said as he returned to the White House from an appearance before the United Nations. In a tweet that went out under his initials, Obama said: ``NFL fans on both sides of the aisle hope the refs' lockout is settled soon.''

    In a rare moment of agreement with Obama, presidential rival Mitt Romney and GOP running mate Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin native, also said it was time to bring back the ``real refs.'' The NFL locked out the officials in June after their contract expired. The league has been using replacement officials, who have come under increasing criticism over the way they handled some games.
     
    ``I sure would like to see some experienced referees, with NFL experience, come back on to the NFL playing fields,'' Romney said in an interview with CNN.

    In an interview Tuesday evening with NBC10's Rosemary Connors, New Jersey State Senate President Steve Sweeney sent this message to the NFL's replacement referees, "Play somewhere else, don't play in New Jersey, we don't want a fraudulent product. Refund our money, go somewhere else."

    Sweeney, a democrat, plans to introduce legislation to ban the replacement refs from the Garden State.

    "These are fired officials some of them, from the lingerie football league, they're high school referees," said Sweeney.

    Sweeney responded to critics who say he should be tending to more important matters by insisting it's a worthy cause and called it consumer fraud.

    Sweeney told NBC10 he plans to introduce the legislation on Monday if the labor dispute isn't settled.