Roy Ellison, referee in Trent Williams case, suspended one game

Roy Ellison, referee in Trent Williams case, suspended one game
November 22, 2013, 5:00 pm
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Ellison failed to 'stay above the fray'

(Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports)

The NFL has suspended umpire Roy Ellison one game for directing a “profane and derogatory” comment toward Redskins’ offensive lineman Trent Williams in last week’s loss to the Eagles.

Ellison’s suspension is without pay, the league said in a statement released Friday afternoon.

Williams said earlier in the week that he expected the issue to be swept “under the carpet” because he had not been interviewed by the league as of late Wednesday.

Williams also denied provoking Ellison and said players on other teams had texted him to say Ellison had made similar comments to them during games.

“I’ve had players hit me up the past few days, saying they’ve had the same experience with him,” Williams said Wednesday. “If I had said something [of] that nature to him, it’s at least a flag. Or I’m thrown out of the game. I’ve never said anything like that to a referee.”

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The Pro Bowl tackle did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment on Friday afternoon.

The incident occurred in the second quarter of Sunday’s loss at Lincoln Financial Field. As the Redskins were lining up to run a play, Williams said Ellison called him a “garbage a--, disrespectful mother------.” Williams was visibly upset after the game as he told reporters about his encounter with Ellison.

“NFL game officials are expected to avoid personal confrontations with players and be respectful of players and coaches at all times,” the NFL said in its statement. “The NFL-NFLRA Collective Bargaining Agreement states that 'at no time will a Game Official engage in any conduct which adversely affects or reflects on the NFL or which results in the impairment of public confidence in the honest and orderly conduct of League games or the integrity or good character of its Game Officials.'” 

Ellison will be eligible to return to the field in Week 13. He had been scheduled to work the Chargers-Chiefs game on Sunday.

UPDATED 22 November 2013, 7 p.m.

The NFL Referees Association released a statement denouncing the NFL's suspension of Ellison, adding that the league made "a rush to judgement without hearing Ellison's side of the story." The statement also claims that Williams directed a racial slur at Ellison.