The NFL has fired a referee during the middle of the 2018 regular season, as Hugo Cruz has been let go from his duties.
Cruz, who had been a referee in the NFL since 2015, had not worked a league game since 2015. He made one very-public mistake this season, missing a blatant false start by Los Angeles Chargers left tackle Russell Okung on a touchdown in Week 6 against the Cleveland Browns.
The decision to fire Cruz, though, was not based solely on that missed call.
NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport reports that it was due to several things.
"This referee Hugo Cruz was, in fact, fired, though I’m told it was for his performance and not meeting the standard over a sustained period of time, rather than one call. Still, quite noteworthy," he reports.
This was the false start penalty he missed:
Despite this blatant missed penalty call, the news of Cruz's firing will be shocking for many NFL referees. It's extremely rare for the league to make a decision like this during the middle of a season.