I know this may sound like a stretch, but the fan uproar over consistent bad calls by the National Football League’s replacement refs and team ownership standing their ground by refusing a new deal with a pension plan for the regular refs paints a vivid picture of how corporate America tends to create its own employment problems.
You’re probably wondering what the hell this has to do with background checks… A lot.
It’s well known that the regular referees, line judges, etc. in the NFL are part time employees who have other full time jobs. It’s always been that way. However, these refs want a bigger piece of the pie as the NFL continues to bring in more and more money. Ownership is reminding them that they’re part time employees, and in corporate America part timers don’t get pension or other benefits. Ownership wants to pay as little as they can get away with for game referees.
NFL ownership is digging in their heels, owners and executives are insisting in interviews that “it’s really not that bad,” even after a blatantly wrong call ended the Seattle Seahawks – Green Bay Packers Monday Night Football game and directly determined the wrong winner. And they’re standing by that statement. Why? Because they can.
They know that at the end of the day fans are going to come to the games and watch at home to keep TV revenues high even if the replacement refs are horrible. And they are indeed horrible as a collective at the professional level. But don’t blame them. Ownership made the offer and they accepted it as you or I would. I mean, these are lower-level college refs and rejects.
Uhhh…yeah. Starting to sound familiar? “High paid employee asks for more and is replaced by inferior-but-cheaper employee.” That’s what’s happened and ownership will keep it this way as long as they can because they’re making the same revenues and paying less for officiating.
So what about the background check relationship? The background of these referees is now well-known. Quite simply, they’re not qualified for their positions. They’re mostly low-level (i.e. small school) refs and some who weren’t good enough to be low level refs, but the NFL hired them anyway. Yep. Not good enough for major college level refereeing and not good enough for the other pro league.
Make no mistake…there are many employers who are willing to take the same risk in their own businesses. We see it all the time and it’s happened for years. It’s probably happened in your own place of employment, most commonly when the proverbial cute girl gets the position over her male or not-quite-as-attractive/flirty female competition. People have joked about this for decades…and it still happens.
Even with background checks, some employers will ignore the results if they really believe they can get away with it. The NFL is a good example of something that is happening more and more in companies every day.