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President Obama weighs in on NFL’s referee lockout


With tens of millions of Americans up in arms about the ending of Monday Night Football and the overall ineptitude of the NFL’s replacement referees, it’s not surprising that the president of the United States has weighed in.

President Obama took to Twitter today to say that he feels the frustration of football fans, noting that it doesn’t matter if you’re a Democrat or a Republican, you want to see the regular referees back on the field.

The question now is whether President Obama plans to do anything about it. Although the president has no legal authority to end the lockout, there’s a long history in the United State of presidents getting involved in labor issues, including President Theodore Roosevelt helping to end the Coal Strike of 1902 by appealing to the patriotism of both sides and reminding them that the strike was doing serious damage to the country.

In the grand scheme of things a lockout of NFL referees may seem too insignificant for the president to become involved in. But if we’ve learned anything in the morning after the Packers-Seahawks debacle, it’s that tens of millions of Americans want to see this issue come to an end. And Obama was already paying attention to the issue before Monday night, saying in an interview last week that he wanted the regular refs back.

At that time, however, Obama also added, “I can’t get involved in it, but I’m just expressing my point of view as a sports fan.” It may take a botched call costing the Bears a game for Obama to do more than express his point of view.