NFL.COM, AP, REUTERS (USA)
After two days of marathon negotiations, the National Football League (NFL) has reached an agreement to end a labor dispute with its regular game referees, ending three weeks of questionable calls that had threatened the integrity of the sport, Reuters reports.
— Yahoo! Sports NFL (@YahooSports_NFL) September 27, 2012
The agreement hinged on working out pension and retirement benefits for the officials, who are part-time employees of the league.
Replacement referees worked the first three weeks of the 2012 season, triggering a wave of outrage that threatened to disrupt the rest of the season.
Now that the NFL Official's strike is over, the replacement refs can back to their regular jobs in Congress.
— Don Nichols (@TheDairylandDon) September 27, 2012
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told NFL.com that the refs will be back on the field starting Thursday night, for the game between the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens.
After a missed call cost the Green Bay Packers a win on a chaotic final play at Seattle on Monday night, it became clear that a tentative agreement had to be reached to end the lockout that began in June, AP reports.
Thank you, Packers, for being the lambs sacrified to get both sides serious about getting the deal done and then reaching the agreement.
— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) September 27, 2012