The Slatest

Washington Defensive End Says NFL Refs Aren’t Giving Them Calls Because Team’s Name

Washington NFL team helmets on the sideline during a game against the San Francisco 49ers.

Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Following the Carolina Panthers 44-16 demolition of the Washington NFL Team on Sunday, the losers were, understandably, searching for answers as it dropped to 4-6 on the year. Four wins in ten games actually isn’t all that bad for Dan Snyder’s personal piggybank of a franchise, but that’s besides the point. The locker room was down and Washington defensive end Jason Hatcher came up with a novel rationale for why several calls, and ultimately the game, had gone against the team—the team’s slur of a name.

“Don’t single us out. At the end of the day, it’s the name. Don’t worry about the name – we’re players and we work our butts off, too. I’m just frustrated with it. We shouldn’t have to be punished for that.”

It’s an interesting—mutinous—theory that the refs are sandbagging the team because of their displeasure over the offensive reference to Native Americans in the team’s name. There were certainly a couple of big calls that did not break Washington’s way, but, for the record, ESPN’s stats show that Washington has, in fact, been flagged 81 times—13th fewest in the league—while their opponents have been called for penalties 87 times. “I don’t want us to be perceived as a team that is looking for excuses to why we lost,” Washington coach Jay Gruden said Monday. “The referees are not an excuse for us as to why we lost the game. The missed tackles, the five sacks, the five turnovers, we can point directly to that.”