Monday, September 03, 2012

Don't watch tonight's game

It's Labor Day, that holiday established to honor America's working men and women, and particularly organized labor, the heroes who fought and died for the forty-hour week, the eight-hour day, employee benefits, and the right to organize. You could be forgiven for thinking it's just the holiday that marks the end of summer, but you'd be wrong.

Still, tonight, after the burgers are eaten, the beers have been drunk, and the grill is put away,you might be thinking about football. After all, it's fall and that's what fall is for, right? As you plan out your NFL viewing schedule for the season, I have a suggestion for you: Don't.

That's right, join with me right now and agree that you won't watch a single NFL game, in person or on television, as long as they're using scab officials.

You may have forgotten, but the NFL has locked out its workers, in this case the officials, and has hired scabs from the low minors (like not NCAA Division), going down as far as the Lingerie Football League, to save each team $6,000 a game. (Never heard of the Lingerie Football League? Uniforms consist of shoulder pads, elbow pads, knee pads, garters, bras, panties, and ice hockey-style helmets with clear plastic visors in lieu of face masks.)

Anyway, from the evidence available so far, apparently the scabs aren't very good, even compared to the scabs the NFL hired in 2001. Laughably bad, as in the broadcasters are literally laughing at the calls. So bad, in fact, that people, including the NFL players' union, are worried that they won't be able to keep the games safe for the players, and the players' union is considering a strike.

I don't care about football, and I won't be watching any of these games anyway, but I do care about workers' rights.

If you care about the quality of the football games you watch, or about the rights of the workers who are entitled by law to organize to negotiate for wages, hours, and working conditions, though, you should care about this lockout, and maybe you should decide that you're not watching scabs.


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