National Football League Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith released a statement to NFL players regarding the referee lockout on Tuesday. Below is the text of the statement:
The decision by the NFL owners to lockout the referees jeopardizes your health and safety. This decision to remove over 1,500 years of collective experience has simply made the workplace less safe.
It is the NFLs duty to provide a workplace that is as safe as possible. The League will want fans, the media and sponsors to talk only about the product on the field. We are not product.
While the focus today is about a blown call and the outcome of one football game, our focus as a family of players is and will remain squarely on workplace safety.
Contrary to some reports, we are not crossing any picket line. The referees are not on strike. The Owners locked them out.
We are actively reviewing any and all possible actions to protect you.