Redskins

Longtime NFL Ref Hasn’t Worked Redskins Game Since 2006 Because of Name

by Chris Lingebach
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Safety Sean Taylor #21 of the Washington Redskins is ejected from the game for unsportsmanlike conduct by referee Mike Carey #94 in the third quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the NFC Wild Card Playoff Game at Raymond James Stadium on January 7, 2006 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

Safety Sean Taylor #21 of the Washington Redskins is ejected from the game for unsportsmanlike conduct by referee Mike Carey #94 in the third quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the NFC Wild Card Playoff Game at Raymond James Stadium on January 7, 2006 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – Mike Carey, a former NFL referee of 19 years-turned CBS rules analyst, admittedly hadn’t worked a Washington Redskins game since 2006, at his request of the league, due to his feelings about the team’s name.

The recently retired official spoke with Mike Wise of the Washington Post, telling him Monday “the league respectfully honored my request not to officiate Washington,” noting “it happened sometime after I refereed their playoff game in 2006, I think.”

While that last tidbit is partially accurate – the Redskins missed the playoffs at 5-11 following the 2006 regular season, but traveled to a Carey-refereed playoff game in Tampa in Jan. ’06 following the 2005 regular season (Carey notably ejected Sean Taylor from that game for unsportsmanlike conduct, for spitting in the face of Michael Pittman)  – Carey’s final game, of any kind, officiating the Redskins did come in 2006.

It was their season-opener that September, against, coincidentally, the Minnesota Vikings (who have transitively become tied to the debate, as well).

From Wise’s column:

“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.

Told how uncommon his social stance was for a referee, whose primary professional goal is to be unbiased, Carey shook his head.

“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.”

The Redskins name controversy — regardless on whichever side you fall — figures to continue its steady onward march through the 2014 regular season. If you’re feeling yourself burnt out on it, as I do, and the Redskins go on to have a playoff-eligible season, look out.

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