Photo by Jose L. Argueta/ISIphotos.com
By FRANCO PANIZO
Get ready for Round 2 of MLS replacement referees.
According to a report from SI.com, the Professional Referee Organization (PRO) and Professional Soccer Referees Associating (PRSA) have yet to come to a resolution to end the regular league officials’ lockout and that means that another week of replacement referees is in store for MLS. PRO and PRSA were scheduled to continue their negotiations on Tuesday, but the meeting to do so was canceled by PRO.
“PSRA is disappointed to report that PRO has unilaterally canceled yet another scheduled negotiation session for today, Tuesday, March 11, 2014,” said PSRA negotiations leader and vice president Steve Taylor. “Additionally, PRO has removed all match assignments from PSRA officials for week 2 of the MLS regular season, effectively continuing the lockout of the referees. It is unknown at this time when PRO will agree to resume talks as required by the NLRB (National Labor Relations Board).”
The news should come as no surprise given all that has been reported on both sides in recent weeks, but it also means that replacement officiating crews will be back after a largely uneventful, and positive, opening weekend.
There were a few controversial calls during Week 1, such as ones in FC Dallas’ win over the Montreal Impact and Real Salt Lake’s triumph vs. the LA Galaxy, but there is seldom a round of MLS action that goes without some degree of debate over referee decisions.
As for PRO and PSRA, things are getting pretty ugly. Aside from PRO canceling Tuesday’s negotiating session, a document on the referee’s unions website lambastes the replacement officials by providing brief bios that are not meant to be complimentary.
It also labels the replacement officials as scabs, which is defined at the top of the document as someone who works during a lockout. The definition also comes with this quote from deceased American author and journalist Jack London:
“The scab sells his birthright, country, his wife, his children and his fellowmen for an unfulfilled promise from his employer. Esau was a traitor to himself; Judas was a traitor to his God; Benedict Arnold was a traitor to his country. A scab is a traitor to his God, his country, his family and his class.”
What do you make of this development? Think the drop-off from the regular officials to the replacement referees is not a big one? Are the replacements bound to start making more controversial calls? Do you envision the labor dispute getting resolved in the near future?
Share your thoughts below.