Updated 6:46 p.m. ET on Friday, July 20
The NFL replaced Jerry Markbreit and eight other former game officials for refusing to train replacements, according to a Los Angeles Times report.
The league is looking into replacement officials because the league locked out officials in June when the two sides failed to agree on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.
“The NFL never actually told us in writing we were fired,” Markbreit, 77, told the Times' Sam Farmer. “However, they took our computers back, and they shut off the NFL website as they did to all of the officials. We feel that we’re fired. They haven’t formally notified us, but it sure feels like we’re fired.”
The league told Farmer that the trainers have not been fired.
"(The officiating trainers) are seasoned 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," league spokesman Brian McCarthy told the Times in an email.
Markbreit was an NFL official for 33 years. The other officiating trainers who reportedly received a similar fate as Markbreit were Ron Botchan, Red Cashion, Tom Fincken, Dean Look, Ben Montgomery, Jim Quirk, Bill Schmitz and Sid Semon. The group has worked a combined 22 Super Bowls, according to the Times.
“They wanted us to train the replacements, which we would absolutely not do,” Markbreit told the Times.