WASHINGTON (AFP) –
US President Barack Obama is “very pleased” that the NFL has reached a deal with referees to end a labor dispute that infuriated American football fans and resulted in several botched calls.
“It’s a great day for America,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters on Air Force One.
“The president is very pleased that the two sides have come together to resolve their differences and ensure that going forward, when we watch our favorite teams play in the NFL, we can focus on the players and the game rather on the officiating.”
The National Football League reached a deal with the referees’ union late Wednesday to end a lockout and regular officials will be back on the field starting with a game later Thursday in Baltimore.
The settlement came about 48 hours after replacement officials botched a game-deciding call on the final play of a Monday night game to give Seattle a victory over Green Bay and pressure mounted upon the league to make a deal.
Obama on Tuesday weighed in on the referee dispute personally, saying the end of Monday’s game was “terrible.”
“I’ve been saying for months we’ve got to get our refs back,” Obama said on Tuesday.