For the first time in the Super Bowl era, the NFL has fired a referee in the middle of the season. Hugo Cruz, a down judge, was fired for performance-related reasons, according to Football Zebras.
The league let go of back judge Hugo Cruz for failing to maintain “avery high level of performance over a sustained period,” according to Football Zebras.
Chavez missed an obvious false start penalty in a Week 6 game between the Los Angeles Chargers and Cleveland Browns which resulted in a touchdown pass for Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers.
Cruz is in his fourth season as an NFL official.
The NFL Referees Association said it would challenge the firing.
Statement from NFL Referees Association Executive Director Scott Green on “reckless” firing of down judge Hugo Cruz: pic.twitter.com/ZThWAX8Xn0
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) October 25, 2018
There has been a wave of criticism of officiating this season by team executives, coaches, players and the media. Several times, teams have been told by the league that a call was missed, although that has happened in past years, too.
The league does hand out fines to players for egregious hits, even when they have not been penalized in a game.
In all, the NFL has 121 officials and 17 officiating crews. Because there are extra officials not working each week, filling Cruz’s spot shouldn’t be an issue.