Former USC and NFL wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson has two perspectives on the three-month NFL referee lockout, which ended Thursday. The first stems from his time on the field and the second, from his work as a current NFL analyst at ESPN in Bristol, Connecticut. Johnson shared his thoughts in a recent interview.
Q: Do you believe the referee lockout tarnished the integrity of the game?
Johnson: No, I don’t think so. Both the owners and the referees were at a stand still in terms of what it was they were looking for regarding negotiations. The referees benefited from the debacles over the last few weeks, and the product of the NFL became a laughing stock. When you have the best game in America, you obviously need to have the best referees out there.
Q: Do you think the NFL put its players at risk by hiring high school, junior college, and Division III replacement referees?
Johnson: Most definitely. I think the speed of the game is a little faster than they are used too. If you wa...