An NFL game official was suspended Friday for one game without pay for making ‘‘a profane and derogatory statement’’ to a Washington Redskins player, an incident that has led to a call for NFL players to stop using the N-word on the field and in the locker room.
The league announced Friday that umpire Roy Ellison will not work an NFL game this weekend as punishment for words directed at left tackle Trent Williams during the Redskins’ loss to the Eagles last Sunday. The NFL Referees Association issued a statement Friday evening saying that it will file a grievance, that the suspension was a rush to judgment without hearing Ellison’s side of the story.
Williams said he was called vulgar names — although not the N-word — by Ellison and did nothing to provoke it. A replay from the second quarter shows Ellison gesturing at Williams while walking backward just before a snap, with Williams, quarterback Robert Griffin III, and tight end Niles Paul turning to look back at the umpire.
But John Wooten, chairman of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, said his organization spoke to game officials who said that Ellison was responding after Williams directed the N-word at Ellison. Both Williams and Ellison are African-American.
The incident, coming in the wake of allegations involving racially charged texts allegedly sent by Incognito to a Dolphins teammate, led the alliance to issue a statement imploring all players to stop using the racial slur.
‘‘I think that we all understand clearly that in terms of supporting Roy, we’re not in any way condoning his reaction to what happened,’’ Wooten told the Associated Press. ‘‘There’s no question in our mind what provoked all of this, that there was a disrespectful communication going on between Trent and an Eagle player. They were using the N-word along with all other type of profanity, and the N-word is what caused Roy to say, ‘Hey, you need to be more respectful.’ ’’
Wooten, 76, said Williams then directed the profanity at Ellison.
‘‘There is no question in my mind that Trent said this to Roy, and I don’t question that,’’ said Wooten, who noted he has not spoken to Ellison directly. ‘‘And that’s what, with Incognito and all this stuff and the N-word and how it’s used in the locker room, that caused us to say, ‘Hey, let’s put an end to this.’ ’’
Wooten, who played nine season in the NFL with the Cleveland Browns and Redskins, said Ellison should have thrown a flag on Williams instead of escalating the exchange.
Earlier this week Williams denied saying anything provocative to Ellison.
Jerry Jones: I’m doing great
Since winning the 1995 Super Bowl, the Dallas Cowboys have made the playoffs seven times in the 17 years, winning only two of nine postseason games. The team hasn’t made the playoffs since 2009 and at 5-5 is in danger of running that skid to four seasons in 2013.
So how does owner — and general manager — Jerry Jones feel about the job and he and fourth-year coach Jason Garrett are doing?
Just fine, thank you. The owner gave both the coach and GM a vote of confidence Friday.
“The facts are that I really do think the way things have rolled out that I’m getting to do some of the best work that I’ve done, relatively speaking in my career of these last several years,” Jones told CBS Dallas.
Jones, 71, also confirmed he wants to continue in the same role for the next 15-20 years.
“A lot of people just need to hear me say I know it’s in our best interest for us to operate the way we have. It’s unfortunate that over these last five or six years that we haven’t had a few things turn right for us at the end of the season . . . But we’ve been a lot closer than it seems.”
Richie Incognito, NFL talk
Multiple media outlets reported that suspended Dolphins guard Richie Incognito met with NFL special investigator Ted Wells for a second consecutive day to discuss the team’s bullying scandal. WTVJ-TV in South Florida videotaped Incognito arriving at the Dolphins’ complex for the meeting Friday accompanied by four other people, including the team’s security chief. On Thursday, Incognito agreed to postpone his grievance hearing challenging the suspension until Wells completes his investigation . . . The Dolphins listed center Mike Pouncey as doubtful for Sunday’s game against the Panthers because he’s recovering from a gall bladder ailment . . . Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta might make his season debut Sunday against the Jets after being sidelined since July with a hip injury. Pitta returned to practice this week for the first time after he dislocated and fractured his hip on the second day of training camp . . . Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (collarbone) will not play against Minnesota on Sunday after hinting earlier in the week there might be a chance . . . The 49ers signed cornerback Tramaine Brock to a $16 million, four-year contract extension. Brock, in his fourth season, leads the team with four interceptions.