Mike Carey avoided officiating Redskins games over team name

Mike Carey requested not to work Redskins games for the last eight years and the NFL let him. (USATSI)
Mike Carey requested not to work Redskins games for the last eight years and the NFL let him. (USATSI)

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This offseason, long-time NFL referee Mike Carey retired from on-field work and joined the CBS Sports team as our in-house officiating expert. So Carey was there Monday when CBS Sports' Phil Simms stated he might avoid using the term "Redskins" on broadcasts this year.

Turns out Carey's been avoiding the Redskins for years. Basically unbeknownst to everyone, Carey didn't work a Washington game from 2006 after requesting to be removed from its games because of the name.

“The league respectfully honored my request not to officiate Washington,” Carey told Mike Wise of the Washington Post. “It happened sometime after I refereed their playoff game in 2006, I think."

A review of Carey's game log at Pro-Football-Reference shows his last Washington regular season game was in September of 2006. And it is Washington to Carey.

"I've called them Washington all my life," Carey said. "And I will continue to call them Washington."

He can do whatever he wants now; it's different when he's on the field. But Carey managed, for eight years, to avoid the Redskins. And the controversy surrounding their name. 

"When they were making assignments, I said I'd like to be excluded from those assignments," Carey explained.

And it was entirely based on his belief that "something disrespectful is happening" and he should remove himself from the scenario.

"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.

Don't bank on Carey using the name while working for CBS either. 

"I have to say the popularity contest is not an issue," Carey said. "It doesn’t matter how many people don’t like it.

"It is disrespectful and I will not use it."

Must read: Forbes ranks Redskins No.3 most valuable team (see full list)

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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