PSRA Calls out MLS Replacement Refs

I’m not sure how I feel about this.

To this point, I’ve been thoroughly on the side of the MLS refs, who unionized last year and formed Professional Soccer Referees Association (PSRA). They’ve been at loggerheads with MLS’s refereeing arm, Professional Referees Organization (PRO), for months finally culminating in PRO locking the referees out two days before the season opener and bringing in replacement refs.

I believe PSRA absolutely has a case. These guys are paid $30K a year or less (usually much less) and that’s not professional-level in the US, considering the time and training a true professional referee puts in. And asking for standards to be set around things like evaluations, fitness and training is not exactly crazy talk, as far as I’m concerned. So, I’ve been pro-PSRA.

Until now.

On their website, PSRA has published a PDF taking to task what they’re calling “scab” referees.  It starts off with a pretty damning definition of a “scab” from Jack London (Jack London, guys? Really?) and proceeds to label all replacement referees scabs.

But it gets worse.

This PDF goes on to list every single one of the replacement referees, along with their pictures, and brief descriptions of what PSRA says is their experience (or lack thereof). Nearly every one begins with “He has no MLS experience”, and of course it would, because if they’d had MLS experience they probably would not be replacements.

Exactly what is the point of this? PRO has not hidden the backgrounds of these replacements. Listing them out along with their pictures feels like a weird attempt at intimidation.

All it’s missing is their addresses and the names of their children’s schools.

PSRA has real issues with PRO and MLS and they deserve to be heard. But by attacking the men PRO brought in to do a job, they’re obfuscating those issues and playing right into PRO’s hands.

Come on, guys. You’re better than this.

Read PSRA’S statement on MLS replacement referees.


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