Like most Green Bay Packers fans, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker woke up Tuesday morning still stinging from a controversial call—made by the NFL's replacement referees—that cost the team a victory over the Seattle Seahawks on "Monday Night Football."
"After catching a few hours of sleep, the #Packers game is still just as painful," Walker tweeted. "#Returntherealrefs."
The Seahawks' 14-12 victory ended on a Hail Mary pass that was intercepted by Packers safety M.D. Jennings but ruled a touchdown by the replacement refs. The play sparked a firestorm of criticism on Twitter, with players, coaches and fans like Walker all weighing in on the debacle.
But the Republican governor's call for the league to end its dispute with the unionized officials is surprising, considering Walker backed anti-union legislation in the state.
"His tweet has nothing to do with unions and everything to do with a blown call," Cullen Werwie, Walker's press secretary, wrote in an email to Yahoo News.
Some Twitter users disagreed.
"So you PRO-union now?" one wrote in response to Walker's tweet. "Here's what hiring low-wage scabs gets you."
"Really!?! You hypocritical FOOL," wrote another. "Your attack on unions gives businesses the ability to hire unqualified employees."
[Also read: The worst call in NFL history?]
The NFL and the officials union are reportedly battling over about $3 million annually in pension commitments, according to Yahoo Sports.
"The replacement ref experiment is a disaster," Yahoo's Dan Wetzel wrote in a column calling on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to issue a public apology. "It has overwhelmed the league. It's overshadowed strong play. It's turned Goodell's vaunted shield into a joke."
Watch the play here:
"It only makes sense that the first victim of replacement worker incompetence would occur in Wisconsin, the first state to throw a hay-maker at collective bargaining and unions," Scott Janssen wrote on The Huffington Post. "The same state that not only elected Governor Scott Walker, a man who passed legislation essentially stripping unions of all powers to collectively bargain, but then elected him once again by an even wider margin in a recall election."
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