there are rally only 3 refs in the CFL I have issues with. They seem to be involved in all the controversial games. I won't mention names, but it is easy to pick up on. Go to TSN and stream a few games from 2010 (like the Als Bombers game). won't take more than a few games to see.
Does the NBA count?
I thought the NBA was like pro wrestling...the outcomes predetermined and the refs are merely part of the show. You know... the "Sports Entertainment" business model. (I expect to see cage-games, and razor blades under the baskets next )
If these are referees being paid well in any professional football league, I cut them minimal slack. For close calls they have to make in real time sure they deserve some slack, but otherwise they ought to be replaced quickly or suspended just like players when they make such inexcusably negligent grievous errors or repeatedly bad calls.
Like any other job out there that requires an exceptional level or performance, if you are not up to par as a referee it's time you find your way out or just have your hat handed to you. For a few of them I'd follow with a solid kick in the pants with a sprint start for that matter.
The cost of the league doing otherwise is too high for sake of the integrity of the game unless of course some jerk commissioner like David Stern wants his league just to become entertainment anyway.