The NFL fired down judge Hugo Cruz on Thursday for inadequate performance, a person familiar with the firing tells The Associated Press.
Cruz is in his fourth season as an NFL official. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the league has not publicly announced the move.
Cruz, a part of referee Carl Cheffers’ crew, was involved in a missed call in the Chargers-Browns game that led to a Los Angeles touchdown on Oct. 14. Chargers tackle Russell Okung false-started on the play and nothing was called.
The NFL Referees Association said it would challenge the firing.
“The NFL has a troubling history of knee-jerk reactions with an eye on public relations, and clearly it has not learned from past mistakes,” NFLRA Executive Director Scott Green, a former referee, said in a statement. “The NFLRA will protect the collectively bargained rights of all officials and will challenge this reckless decision through the grievance process.”
Cruz’s firing was first reported by FootballZebras.com, a website dedicated to officiating which said it’s the first in-season firing by the league of an official because of performance in the Super Bowl era.
There has been a wave of criticism of officiating this season by team executives, coaches, players and the media.
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