NFL Referee Avoided Working Redskins Games Because Of Name - NBC4 Washington

Latest News About Washington's Team

NFL Referee Avoided Working Redskins Games Because Of Name



    In an interesting story written by The Washington Post's Mike Wise, longtime NFL referee Mike Carey revealed that he avoided assignments to work Redskins games because of the team's nickname.

    “I’ve called them Washington all my life,” Carey told Wise. “And I will continue to call them Washington.

    “It just became clear to me that to be in the middle of the field, where something disrespectful is happening, was probably not the best thing for me."

    Carey, a highly respected official who worked for the NFL for nearly two decades, "essentially told his employers his desire for a mutually respectful society was so jeopardized by Washington’s team name that he could not bring himself to officiate the games of owner Daniel Snyder’s team," according to Wise. Carey did not reveal exactly who honored his request other than to say that he would communicate with the person making up the officiating assignments.

    While the issue has certainly become a hot topic of conversation recently, Carey did not work a Redskins game after 2006. He now works as a rules analyst for CBS, which is leaving the decision regarding whether to use the name during broadcasts up to the on-air talent.

    “There was an epiphany for me that it was time," Carey said when asked about his decision eight years ago. "I was never comfortable with the name. I’ve never said [the team’s name] in my games. But then I realized it wasn’t an option to be part of them anymore. For me, I just knew. I knew that everybody — everybody — deserves a level of respect."

    Follow Adam on Twitter @AdamVingan and e-mail your story ideas to adamvingan (at)