Mike Carey, Former NFL Referee, Avoided Redskins Games Because of Their Name

The Big Lead

2005 NFC Wild Card Playoff Game - Washington Redskins vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers - January 7, 2006

Mike Carey was an NFL referee for 19 seasons, and recently was hired to be the “rules analyst” for CBS Sports this season. Carey was one of the best referees in the NFL during his tenure, but a little-known fact was kept quiet until Mike Wise of the Washington Post broke the story this week: Carey told the NFL that he didn’t want to call Redskins games because of the team 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.”

For almost all of the final eight seasons and 146 games of Carey’s career, the first African American referee to work a Super Bowl — the official named with Ed Hochuli as the best in the game in a 2008 Sports Illustrated poll of coaches — essentially told his employers his desire for…

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