Former NFL Ref Mike Carey Avoided Working Redskins Games Because Of Team Name
Former NFL referee Mike Carey did not work a Redskins game from the "opening week of the 2006 season" until he retired this year due to the team's nickname, according to Mike Wise of the WASHINGTON POST. Carey, who this season is joining CBS as a rules analyst, said, "The league respectfully honored my request not to officiate Washington." He added, "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." Wise notes Carey, who is "one of the fairest, even-keeled referees of the past two decades," made a "moral decision that often probably resulted in lesser officiating crews working Washington's games." Carey "working other games instead of Washington's means the product on the field, however slight, could have been compromised." Former Redskins GM Vinny Cerrato said, "If they're letting their officials have a say whether they work certain games or not and the team isn't aware ... I think it could be a problem" (WASHINGTON POST, 8/21). ESPN's Michael Wilbon called this a "'wow' story" and said, "This is enormously significant when you look at the accumulation now of voices saying, 'Hold on.'" CBS' Phil Simms and NBC's Tony Dungy earlier in the week said they would probably not refer to the Redskins' name. ESPN's Jason Whitlock noted Carey and Ed Hochuli are the "face of refereeing in the NFL, and you can't convince me that Roger Goodell did not know that his highest ranking black official was not working Washington games." SI's Peter King noted Redskins Owner Daniel Snyder has been "bashed for years for his ownership of this team, and now he's getting praised by all the people who love his team and don't want to see the nickname changed." King: "I think he wants to stand up for as long as he can, but I think the league office realizes that at some point -- a year or two maybe; I don’t think it's going to be much longer than that -- this name has to change. The team is simply on the wrong side of history" ("PTI," ESPN, 8/20).
CHOOSING SIDES: The CHICAGO SUN TIMES' Rick Morrissey writes today is the "last time" readers will see him use the Redskins name in one of his columns. Morrissey: "It has been bothering me for a long time. I've written often about how wrong it is that, in this day and age, we still have a sports franchise that uses a derogatory nickname for Native Americans. ... I would call on the Sun-Times to stop using the term, as well" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 8/21). But in Ft. Myers, David Moulton writes he is on ESPN analyst Mike Ditka's side of the argument "not because of politics but intent." Moulton: "I agree with him in the belief that the football team in Washington was called Redskins to honor the toughness and courage of the American Indian. Not to shame, degrade or humiliate them" (Ft. Myers NEWS-PRESS, 8/21).