Carey, now a part of the CBS broadcast crew, kept his request mum until after leaving the NFL. When the request was allegedly made in 2006, Mike Pereira, now a member of the FOX NFL Sunday broadcast team, was the head of officiating at the time.
Pereira acknowledged that he and Carey spoke about the situation.
"Did I have a conversation with Mike Carey? The answer is yes," Pereira said. "The actual conversation that took place is between Mike and I, but I honored his request that he had. It was his own personal belief that led to that, not necessarily mine or the league’s. Did I tell anybody in the league about it? No."
Pereira continued, saying: "In my time as head of officiating, I got lots of requests from officials that wanted not to work certain teams for personal reasons like Mike Carey’s to an official not wanting to work a team from a city that the he resided in. I was sensitive to all of the officials’ concerns and honored every one that I could."
Carey’s comments, originally published in The Washington Post, said it was a personal choice.
"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.