2012 NHL Lockout vs. NFL Referee Lockout: Which Is Worst in Sports?

Joseph Kuchie@@jkuchieCorrespondent IApril 4, 2017

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 24:  Wide receiver Golden Tate #81 of the Seattle Seahawks makes a catch in the end zone to defeat the Green Bay Packers on a controversial call by the officials at CenturyLink Field on September 24, 2012 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

UPDATE 2: According to Tara Sullivan of The Record, the NFL and NFLRA have agreed on an 8 year deal that will go into effect immediately. The NFL also confirmed that there will be a full crew for Thursday night's game between Baltimore and Cleveland, and all games on Sunday will have regular referees in place.


UPDATE: According to NFL.com, The NFL and NFLRA have agreed on a deal that will end the lockout and possibly put the original referees back on the field by Sunday. However, that means that Thursday night's game between Baltimore and Cleveland will still have replacement refs. END UPDATE.


Lockouts have become a trend amongst the sports world over the past five years as the NFL, NBA, and NHL have all seen some sort of work stoppage within their leagues.

This year, the NHL lockout has threatened to cancel games until November or December, and there is doubt that there will be a season at all. This is also the third lockout under commissioner Gary Bettman since he took over in 1993.

The NFL referees have also been locked out since before the preseason began, forcing the league to use replacement refs through Week 3 of the regular season. The owners have not budged in negotiations and have refused to pay them more money, but the recent blunders by replacement referees have challenged the integrity of the game.

Last night's Monday Night Football game between Green Bay and Seattle sent the league and its fans into a frenzy, but no negotiations or changes are expected to take place. While the NHL may potentially lose an entire season due to their lockout, the NFL's referee lockout is currently the worst lockout in sports.


The owners are playing the biggest role in both lockouts, but there is a fairly large difference in negotiations between the NHL and NFL. While the NHL doesn't seem like it is making any progress, the owners are at least willing to negotiate. The NFL owners and commissioner Roger Goodell have said that they will not pay the extra $2 million the referees want, and no progress has been made since the preseason.


The NFL has also threatened to punish head coaches and players who attempt to intimidate the replacement referees. Denver Broncos head coach John Fox and defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio were both fined for arguing with the referees last week.



The same differences can be seen amongst the players. The NHLPA stand united during this lockout, saying they will not budge until they get the deal that they want. Many players have already found jobs in the KHL and AHL, and currently have formed a bond through Twitter with the hashtag #theplayers.

The NFL's players are on the field every week, yet they seem to be suffering much worse then the NHLPA. Replacement referees have been changing the outcomes of games and are altering how fans and players react to watching a football game.

Last night's MNF game was probably the tipping point for the players. A number of the league's top stars, either Packers players who lost last night's game or other stars watching at home, took to Twitter to state their issues with the league's current situation.


@drewbrees: I love this league and love the game of football, but tonight’s debacle hurts me greatly. This is NOT the league we’re supposed to represent.

@drewbrees: Ironic that our league punishes those based on conduct detrimental. Whose CONDUCT is DETRIMENTAL now?


@GregJennings: #NFL C'MON MAN! Can't even be upset anymore. All I can do is laugh. Laugh at the #NFL for allowing America's game to come to this. WOW!

Finally, when push comes to shove, it all comes down to money. While the NHL will be losing a ton of revenue by not having a season, the NFL will begin to start losing fan support if the replacement referees continue to change games.

There were also reports that roughly $300-700 million dollars changed hands in sports books and casinos during the blown call in Seattle last night. Fans are eventually going to stop placing bets, and you can imagine the hardships these betting sites will take during football season without any business.

In a lockout, nobody wins, and that goes especially for the fans. Fans of the NFL and NHL are suffering, but fans of the NFL unfortunately have to sit by while their favorite teams suffer due to a referee lockout.