NFL Cuts Ties With Officials For Refusing To Train Replacement Referees

The standoff between the NFL and its referees took another ugly turn on Friday. Jerry Markbreit, an NFL official for more than three decades, and eight other officials were told to turn in their equipment by the league for refusing to train replacement referees, according to a report from Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times.

The nine former officials fired have provided training for NFL referees for a decade, with 22 Super Bowls between them. Prospective replacement officials, culled from the ranks of high school and junior college refs, met in Dallas for training on Friday.

Markbreit and the others never received an official termination notice from the league. Instead, they were asked to return computers provided to them by the league.

"They wanted us to train the replacements, which we would absolutely not do," Markbreit said. "We were all officials for 20-plus years .... How could we face our people? There wasn't a question about us doing this. We knew this was coming.

"It's very discouraging for [the league] to have put us in this kind of situation."

The NFL locked out the referee association on June 3, when the two sides failed to reach a new labor agreement. At issue are pay increases and a defined benefit plan. The league has proposed moving away from the current pension system in favor of something along the lines of a 401k plan.

With no agreement, the NFL will proceed with using replacement referees. The union and others have criticized that plan as a risk to player safety and the overall competitiveness of the game.

Latest News

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.