After PR crisis, NFL and refs union hammer out a deal

A public relations and social media firestorm that threatened the league’s reputation was the ‘icing’ that led to an agreement, says one PR pro.

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Regular officials will return to the field for tonight’s Baltimore Ravens-Cleveland Browns game. The overwhelming response on Twitter this morning: Hallelujah.

So was it the PR crisis that led to the agreement?

“It’s tough to make cause and effect statements like that,” said PR pro Jackson Wightman. “I think after all the negative talk last week from fans, players and other NFL stakeholders, and a weekend of bad officiating, Monday was the icing on the cake.”

During Monday night’s Green Bay Packers-Seattle Seahawks game, replacement referees—who have officiated for the past three weeks after the NFL locked out its regular refs—signaled a touchdown on the final play, handing the Seahawks a 14-12 win. A review of the play shows that the refs not only made the wrong call, but also missed a decisive pass interference penalty.

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