Well, this is a first. Referees in the NFL catch heat for a lot of things but it’s tough to remember a player ever blaming the officials because of a bias against a team’s name. In a post-game locker room interview, Washington Redskins defensive end Jason Hatcher let loose on the refs for… hating the name Redskins?
Hatcher seems to think the refs are out to get the ‘Skins because of their name, which as we all know is rather controversial – probably because it’s a slur against Native Americans. He suggests that the Skins get “singled out” due to the name, which he says is unfair since players are just trying to play ball and they don’t have anything to do with the name.
If the refs are biased, this should probably translate to higher penalty counts but it doesn’t, as Washington is right in the middle of the league in terms of accepted penalties this year. Maybe that’s because this is an incredibly stupid accusation and Hatcher should rightfully get a lot of flack for this statement. Tampa Bay has been penalized 97 times, does Hatcher think the refs simply have something against pirates?
Refs get a lot of hate. Some of it is deserved, even though they are working within some very poorly defined parameters. They will get calls wrong. It will be frustrating and feel like your team was hurt for no reason. But to blame those calls on the name of the team? That’s just dumb.