Ex-NFL ref Mike Carey found Redskins name offensive, asked off games
AUG 20, 2014 1:38p ET
The debate over the Redskins moniker seems to have been exacerbated recently, even though it has always bubbled up over the course of the team’s history.
Even with the team under the microscope more these days, it seems that the name has irked even those who are close to the game for longer.
Former NFL referee Mike Carey, who after 19 years on the field will this year be the CBS in-studio rules analyst, spoke to the Washington Post about why he asked the league not to assign him to Redskins games following 2006.
Here are some choice quotes from Carey:
“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.”
“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 said.
“Human beings take social stances,” he said. “And if you’re respectful of all human beings, you have to decide what you’re going to do and why you’re going to do it.”
Carey, the first African American to referee a Super Bowl, explained that to him the backlash against the name is warranted.
“I know that if a team had a derogatory name for African Americans, I would help those who helped extinguish that name,” Carey told the Post. “I have quite a few friends who are Native Americans. And even if I didn’t have Native American friends, the name of the team is disrespectful.”
Some newspapers have embargoed the use of the Redskins moniker, and the University of Minnesota wants to ban the use of the name and have Washington wear alternate uniforms when they visit the Vikings there on Nov. 2.
As for Carey, it seems like he wouldn’t be opposed to that.
“I’ve called them Washington all my life,” he said. “And I will continue to call them Washington.”
(H/T to Deadspin)