WWE referee Drake Wuertz was released by the company today, as first reported by Fightful's Sean Ross Sapp. He last appeared on WWE TV yesterday and was the official for Legado del Fantasma vs. Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher on NXT.
Wuertz signed with WWE in 2014 after a long career on the independent wrestling scene. He had been at the centre of controversy in recent months because of his political beliefs and was suspended by WWE earlier this year.
Wuertz also missed a recent episode of NXT to argue against children wearing face masks at a school board meeting for Seminole County Public Schools. During his speech, Wuertz cited the conspiracy theory that "masks play into the hands of the predators that want to prey upon our children" and claimed children are "victims of tyrannical overreach."
According to Spectrum Sports 360's Jon Alba, WWE Superstars were uncomfortable around Wuertz and believed he was racist.
Alba wrote: "In the past 3 weeks, multiple WWE and NXT Superstars told me they believed Drake Wuertz was racist, and felt uncomfortable around him at the WWE Performance Center. One noted they even felt odd with him reffing closed-door matches at the PC."
Referee Jake Clemons has also been released by WWE. Fightful noted he already has an independent wrestling booking.