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Mike Carey avoided refereeing Redskins games because of team name

Mike-CareyThe Washington Redskins team name debate may have emerged as a hot topic over the last year, but there are plenty of people who have had a problem with the racist undertones associated with the nickname for years. Former NFL referee Mike Carey is one of them.

Carey, who recently retired after 19 seasons as an NFL ref and is now the rules analyst for CBS Sports, began quietly protesting the term Redskins back in 2006. It was then that Carey asked that the NFL not assign him to any Washington games for the preseason or regular season, and the league honored his request.

“I’ve called them Washington all my life,” Carey told Mike Wise of the Washington Post. “And I will continue to call them Washington. The league respectfully honored my request not to officiate Washington. It happened sometime after I refereed their playoff game in 2006, I think.”

Carey, the first African-American official to ever work a Super Bowl, was one of the most respected referees in the NFL. He said he kept his request private and never went to Roger Goodell to discuss the issue.

“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 explained. “I know that if a team had a derogatory name for African Americans, I would help those who helped extinguish that name. 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.”

Carey’s interesting revelation comes in the wake of two prominent NFL broadcasters saying they will avoid using the term Redskins this season. We’re guessing Mike Ditka would strongly disagree with Carey’s social stance.

Mike Ditka bashes liberals, thinks Redskins name debate is stupid

Mike Ditka BearsMike Ditka is as old school as they come, so it’s probably no surprise that he believes the Washington Redskins should keep their nickname. But what is surprising is how strongly he feels about the subject and why.

Ditka did an interview with Redskins Historian Mike Richman this month and his comments received publicity after The Washington Post wrote about it Tuesday.

Here’s what Ditka said:

“What’s all the stink over the Redskin name?” Ditka said. “It’s so much horses— it’s incredible. We’re going to let the liberals of the world run this world. It was said out of reverence, out of pride to the American Indian. Even though it was called a Redskin, what are you going to call them, a Brownskin? This is so stupid it’s appalling, and I hope that owner keeps fighting for it and never changes it, because the Redskins are part of an American football history, and it should never be anything but the Washington Redskins. That’s the way it is.

“Its been the name of the team since the beginning of football. It has nothing to do with something that happened lately, or something that somebody dreamed up. This was the name, period. Leave it alone. These people are silly — asinine, actually, in my opinion.”

Ditka continued to blast the PC liberals.

“It’s all the political correct idiots in America, that’s all it is,” Ditka said. “It’s got nothing to do with anything else. We’re going to change something because we can. Hey listen, I went through it in the 60s, too. I mean, come on. Everybody lined up, did this. It’s fine to protest. That’s your right, if you don’t like it, protest. You have a right to do that, but to change the name, that’s ridiculous. Change the Constitution — we’ve got people trying to do that, too, and they’re doing a pretty good job.”

While many people will be in disbelief over Ditka’s thoughts, many more will love him for them. This is Da Coach we’re talking about. The same guy who called Jonathan Martin a baby. The same guy who criticized Matthew Stafford for wearing his hat backwards. Of course he’s going to want the Redskins to keep an offensive name to save tradition. And of course old school folks will love him for standing up for what they believe is right.

When you’re evaluating the merits of Ditka’s argument, just keep in mind that he’s the same guy who thought it was a rational idea to trade his entire draft for Ricky Williams. That is all.

Tony Dungy, Phil Simms will try not to use word ‘Redskins’

Washington Redskins helmetMost major television networks have left it up to their television personalities on whether they want to use the term “Redskins” this season or not. With increasing pressure from politicians and other influential groups, the Washington Redskins seem destined to change their nickname at some point. The process might be accelerated if people just stop using it.

“My very first thought is it will be Washington the whole game,” Simms told The Associated Press, via NBC 4 Washington. “I never really thought about it, and then it came up and it made me think about it. There are a lot of things that can come up in a broadcast, and I am sensitive to this.”

Dungy, who is a major staple of the NBC Sunday Night Football telecast, agrees.

“I will personally try not to use Redskins and refer to them as Washington,” Dungy said. “Personal opinion for me, not the network.”

But for every Simms and Dungy, there are plenty of broadcasters and analysts who say they will commit to using the term Redskins as long as that is the name of the team.

“There are so many Redskins fans that take great pride in the name,” CBS’ Rich Gannon, who spent a season playing in Washington, said. “(Owner) Daniel Snyder has said he’s talked and visited with (many) American Indian nations who are supportive of the name. And there are those who oppose it who are being heard. It’s an important topic.”

Jim Nantz, Boomer Esiason, Solomon Wilcots and Troy Aikman also said they will continue to call the Redskins by name until it is no longer their name.

There are even some prominent former Redskins players who believe owner Daniel Snyder should change the name of his franchise, but Snyder has refused to back down. In fact, Snyder recently bought some “Keep the Name” T-shirts from a street vendor. Still, I believe it is only a matter of time before he is forced to fold.

Bail jumper Jacob Close arrested after answering Redskins question for newspaper

Jacob-Close-criminal

If you have a warrant out for your arrest and are trying to avoid law enforcement, you definitely should not answer a question for a newspaper’s opinion column and agree to allow the paper to run your photograph. Jacob Close, a 25-year-old Bloomsburg (Penn.) University student, learned that the hard way over the weekend.

Close offered his opinion about a question related to the Washington Redskins name debate in the Bloomsburg Press Enterprise on June 30. He gave the following sarcastic thought in the publication’s weekly “Your Opinion” feature.

“I think they should keep the same name, but change the mascot to a potato.”

Close’s answer was pretty clever, but he should have saved some of that wit to help keep him out of jail. As it turns out, police have been looking for Close after he jumped bail in a drug and drunken driving case in Ithaca, New York years ago. Ithaca City Police were notified of his warrant in late May and had been looking for him for over a month.

After seeing Close’s photo in the Press Enterprise, a campus police officer staked out his car and arrested him at the student recreation center on Sunday. Close is now being held on $25,000 bail.

Aren’t dumb criminals the best?

H/T Jim Romenesko

Bad News Barrett calls Redskins ‘racist’ in Washington, D.C. (Video)

Bad-News-BarrettBad News Barrett played the role of classic WWE heel on Monday night in the nation’s capital. During the “Monday Night Raw” broadcast in Washington, D.C., Barrett taunted the audience about the Washington Redskins and their offensive nickname.

Before his match against Dolph Ziggler, Barrett referred to the Redskins as a “racist, constantly losing NFL team.” USA Today’s Nick Schwartz, who sat ringside at the Verizon Center on Monday, said most of the fans in attendance laughed.

As we saw with their Lance Stephenson spoof earlier this month, antagonizing fans about their home sports teams is one of the many ways the WWE stays relevant year-round.

US Patent Office cancels Washington Redskins’ trademark

Washington Redskins helmetIn a major development that could very well lead to the end of the Washington Redskins’ franchise name as we know it, the United States Patent and Trademark Office ruled on Wednesday that the Redskins’ federal trademark has been cancelled. The ruling was made on the ground that the team name is “disparaging to Native Americans.”

Travis Waldron of Think Progress first broke the news, noting that a name that is found to be disparaging, offensive or racist in nature cannot be trademarked under federal law. Amanda Blackhorse, who brought the motion against Pro-Football Inc., described the ruling as a “great victory” for Native Americans.

“I am extremely happy that the [Board] ruled in our favor,” Blackhorse said in a statement. “It is a great victory for Native Americans and for all Americans. We filed our petition eight years ago and it has been a tough battle ever since. I hope this ruling brings us a step closer to that inevitable day when the name of the Washington football team will be changed. The team’s name is racist and derogatory. I’ve said it before and I will say it again – if people wouldn’t dare call a Native American a ‘redskin’ because they know it is offensive, how can an NFL football team have this name?”

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s full decision can be read here. Here are some of the most crucial findings.

[Read more...]

Anti-Redskins commercial to air during NBA Finals (Video)

Redskins-adA commercial that will lobby for the Washington Redskins to change their name is set to air in seven major cities during halftime of Game 3 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday night. The airtime was purchased by the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, a tribe based in California.

According to the Washington Post, the tribe called the ad a “significant investment” that was needed to further the discussion about the racist nature of the term “Redskins.”

The ad, which will air in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, Sacramento, San Francisco and Washington, will be a shortened version of the video you see above. It highlights a number of words that Native Americans are proud to be associated with and ends with the “one thing they don’t call themselves” before cutting to an image of a Redskins helmet.

Good luck fighting to keep that name, Dan Snyder.

Video via Deadspin