Professional Soccer Referees Association - Through Unity, Strength

Part IV - An Open Letter to our Referee Community

February 29, 2024

Dear Colleagues, Supporters, Family, and Friends:

For reference, you can find our previous letters to our referee community here: Part I, Part II, and Part III.

Thank you. We, the MLS Match Officials of PSRA, extend our warm and sincere thanks to each of you who have supported us and stood with us in solidarity during this second lockout in three CBA negotiation cycles with PRO/MLS.

It is heartwarming and appreciated more than you can know to see your Facebook posts, tweets, Instagram messages, direct texts, and emails supporting our cause.

There has been a lot of news over the past few days. Public letters have been posted by both PRO and PSRA. Don Garber, MLS Commissioner, has made public statements on the situation. The MLS Players Association has released a statement of support. Many journalists, fans, club supporter groups, and fellow officials from around the world have taken to various forms of media to express their views and support, and desire to see this situation brought to a fair and balanced resolution.

An overwhelming majority of officials who were approached by PRO to work matches as replacement officials courageously declined the offer, choosing instead to stand in solidarity with their colleagues and friends in PSRA. We thank you!

We thank you as you watch some of your colleagues officiating matches this past weekend and likely in the weekend to come. We thank you as you will potentially be approached again by PRO, perhaps with a “richer” offer to cross the line, and you continue to professionally and courageously decline. We thank you for knowing your own value and the value for which PSRA fights; for current officials and for officials who will join these ranks in the future. It is YOUR solidarity that is making this possible. Our community is stronger because of your courageous choices!

The journey has not yet ended; a difficult road lies ahead. We must each remain resolute in our commitment to each other, to the game, and to the goal of achieving a contract with PRO/MLS that represents a fair and balanced agreement demonstrating officials’ significant, direct, and unmistakable role in supporting the growth of the league’s on-field product.

We love this game. We live for this game. We remain grateful to each of you who share this love for the game.

We thank you. If you have any questions, or would just like further information, please let us know - is how you can easily reach us on the PSRA Board, or you can feel free to reach out to anyone working in MLS with whom you may have a connection.

On behalf of all MLS officials,

The PSRA Executive Board

Peter Manikowski, President
Brian Poeschel, VP
Chris Penso, Secretary
Jonathan Johnson, Treasurer
Matt Franz, Member-at-Large
Jeremy Hanson, Member-at-Large
Jason White, Member-at-Large

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