NFL Says Officials Were Not Fired For Refusing To Train Replacement Refs

The NFL said that it did not fire officials responsible for training referees after they refused to train replacement referees, in response to Sam Farmer's article in the Los Angeles Times.

Farmer reported on Friday that the league asked Jerry Markbreit and eight other former referees to turn in their computers. Markbreit and the others were never officially terminated, but the veteran official with more than 30 years of experience said that they felt as though they were fired.

The NFL said that the computers and access were taken away in order to be used by replacement officials tasked with training the replacement refs. A group of replacements consisting mostly of high school and junior college refs were in Dallas on Friday for training.

The NFL locked out its referees on June 3 when the two sides failed to reach a new labor agreement.

Markbreit expressed his frustration with the league over the situation in the original report from Farmer:

"We're in limbo," Botchan said. "We're so upset with them .... We've done a lot for that league."

Continued negotiations between the NFL Referees Association and the league are also in limbo.

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