President Obama hasn’t had time to meet one-on-one with world leaders while in New York at the U.N., but he has kept abreast of much more parochial concerns — including the NFL’s referee situation.
On Tuesday, he tweeted that he wants the football league to get a deal done that will bring back the regular referees, whom owners have locked out.
“NFL fans on both sides of the aisle hope the refs’ lockout is settled soon. — bo”
But that wasn’t the end of it. On Air Force One, jetting back from New York, White House press secretary Jay Carney said Mr. Obama was shocked at the ending of Monday’s game between the Packers and Seahawks, which ended with a questionable touchdown call.
“He said that what happened in that game is a perfect example of why both sides need to come together, resolve their differences so that the regular refs can get back on the field and we can start focusing on a game that so many of us love rather than debating whether of not a game is won or lost because of a bad call,” Mr. Carney said.
It’s the second time he’s weighed in, following an interview last week with a Cleveland radio station, which his Twitter feed also tweeted:
“Is it just me or do we have to get our regular refs back?”
Mr. Obama went on to tell WTAM radio he can’t get involved with the dispute, but was speaking as a sports fan.
Some politicians, though, have decided to try to do something about it.
In New Jersey, Sen. Steve Sweeney on Tuesday said he’ll introduce legislation that would ban replacement refs from working games in his state. He said it’s a safety issue and the game is too dangerous without the regular refs on the field.