NFL says “fired” retired refs actually not fired at all

AP

Jerry Markbreit thinks he’s been fired by the NFL.

The NFL disagrees.

Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times wrote this afternoon that Markbreit, Red Cashion and seven other retired officials thought they were dismissed by the league because they refused to train replacement refs.

Markbreit told Farmer the league asked for his laptop computer, and shut down the website officials used for training.

“They haven’t formally notified us, but it sure feels like we’re fired,” Markbreit said.

The league has now responded.

“The officiating trainers have not been fired,” league spokesman Michael Signora told PFT. “They are seasonal employees who have decided not to work at this time.  We asked for their NFL-issued laptops back so that those who are working right now can use them.”

With the regular officials locked out, the league’s training a mixed bag of retired officials and those working at lower levels of college football. And now that they don’t have seasoned officials teaching them how to do their jobs, it’s anybody’s guess how they’re learning, or whether they’ll be anything near ready if there’s no settlement between the league and the NFL Referees Association.