It’s Hard Out Here For a Scab


Much has been written, broadcast, tweeted, and bloviated about Monday night’s “blown call” by replacement referees during the game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers. A national debate has been raised about whether part-time workers deserve a non-contribution based pension. Even anti-union blowhards like Wisconsin governor Scott Walker have come out in favor of ending the owner lockout of regular referees, most likely because he is a hometown Packers fan.

But while its interesting that the class issue has been so prominent, and that the U.S.’s most conservative sport seems to be under heavy pressure to concede to its workers, there hasn’t been a lot said about the race issue here. If you look closely at the photo above, you’ll see that it is the white scab referee who is making the “incorrect” touchdown call, while the African-American scab ref is signaling for a touchback, indicating that the defensive back made an interception that should have ended the game in favor of the Packers.

I haven’t looked into the pecking order of this ref team, but you have to assume that the black referee’s call was ignored because he ranked lower in the chain of command of the officiating crew. Which leads to the inevitable conclusion. If the African American scab ref’s words were weighed equally, or had the power to overrule his colleague, none of this would have happened.

It’s hard out here for a scab.


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