Former NFL Referee Says He Deliberately Avoided Redskins Games To Protest Name

A longtime NFL referee revealed this week that he staged a silent protest against the Washington Redskins’ racially charged nickname, deliberately avoiding the team’s games for several years.

Mike Carey, who retired from officiating earlier this year and will serve as an analyst for CBS’s NFL broadcasts this fall, also said he will continue to refer to the team as “Washington.”

“I’ve called them Washington all my life,” Carey said, as quoted by the Washington Post’s Mike Wise. “And I will continue to call them Washington.”

It turns out that Carey hadn’t worked a single Redskins preseason or regular season game since 2006 due to his misgivings with the name.

“The league respectfully honored my request not to officiate Washington,” Carey said. “It happened sometime after I refereed their playoff game in 2006, I think.”

The team is facing a growing chorus of critics, including several U.S. senators, who are calling for a name change.

But one person who is not on board with the campaign is NFL legend Mike Ditka, who recently dismissed the criticism of the name as “horse shit.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Kludt is a reporter for Talking Points Memo based in New York City, covering media and national affairs. Originally from South Dakota, Tom joined TPM as an intern in late-2011 and became a staff member during the 2012 election. He can be reached at tom@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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