New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney (D) says the NFL's settlement with referees is "good news for the league, the officials, the players and the fans."

Eric Scott Interviews State Senate President Steve Sweeney on July 03
Eric Scott Interviews State Senate President Steve Sweeney (Double Down/NJ1015)

The NFL reached a tentative agreement with its officials late Wednesday night that will return them to the field for tonight's game in Baltimore. The agreement ends an impasse that began in June when the league locked out the officials and used replacements instead.

"Everyone has endured too many games with too many bad calls, too little control and far too much indecision and inconsistency in the officiating," wrote Sweeney in a press release.  "The importance of well trained, professional referees on the field became more apparent with each and every game. The safety of the players was at risk and the integrity of the NFL games was compromised.

After a controversial call that ended Monday night's game, pressure was applied to the league to settle the strike. Sweeney, whose Green Bay Packers were the victims of a bad call, called for legislation banning replacement officials from working games played in New Jersey. Sweeney intends to move forward with that bill.

“I still intend to move forward with legislation requiring the use of properly trained officials for professional sporting events in New Jersey. With sports betting coming to New Jersey it will be more important than ever to protect the professionalism and integrity of sporting events. These are well financed businesses that provide a product to their fans, a product that has special meaning to most Americans. Confidence in the quality of officiating and the outcome of the games will be an important factor in protecting the integrity of sporting events for those who participate in sports betting as well as other fans."

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