It has almost been an entire twenty-four hours since “Golden-Gate” (credit to Grantland.com) happened in Seattle. The opinions are still flying around on the situation. Based on the tweets from big name sources, the referees and the NFL are not coming to an agreement anytime soon.
With no way to put pressure on the league to settle their issues with the refs whether it’s complaining via twitter or having the world complain about how the league is losing its’ integrity and demeaning the game, fans and players are bringing up the cursed word they hope could end it all: STRIKE.
Unfortunately ladies and gentlemen, the players in the league couldn’t strike if they wanted to due to specific clauses in the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). In Article 3, Section 1 of the 2011 CBA states:
”Section 1. No Strike/Lockout: Except as otherwise provided in Article 47 (Union Security), Section 6, neither the NFLPA nor any of its members will engage in any strike, work stoppage, or other concerted action interfering with the operations of the NFL or any Club for the duration of this Agreement, and no Clubs, either individually or in concert with other Clubs, will engage in any lockout for the duration of this Agreement. Any claim that a party has violated this Section 1 will not be subject to the grievance procedure or the arbitration provisions of this Agreement and the party will have the right to submit such claim directly to the courts.”
via NFL Collective Bargain Agreement
It would have been highly interesting to see how the players would pull-off a strike if it was legal for the players to do. Green Bay Packers offensive lineman T.J. Lang, according to ProFootballTalk, said the team discussed the possibility of going on strike or taking a knee on every offensive snap until the referee lockout was over. Since he can’t strike, them taking a knee would certainly cause more ruckus, but the Packers making the playoffs is far more important than the league abusing secondary referees due to them being “cheap”.
Until the official referees return to the league (whenever that will be), be clear of strike talks as it sounds good, but it’s simply illegal.