NFL

NFL official allegedly directed vulgarities at Redskins' LT

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The Canadian Press
11/18/2013 4:27:10 PM
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ASHBURN, Va. -- The Washington Redskins and the NFL are reviewing an incident in which a game official allegedly directed profane words at left tackle Trent Williams.

"You just can't use that type of language to get your point across," Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said.

Williams said he was called vulgar names by official No. 81 -- which would be umpire Roy Ellison -- during a Redskins possession late in the second quarter of Sunday's 24-16 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. Other players say they heard the words as well, and a replay 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 Ellison.

"To me, this is a players' league," Williams told reporters after the game. "I just don't think there's no room for you to have to take that from the team and the refs. I think it's very unprofessional. ... I'm at a loss for words. You never expect that, as a player, going into the game to have to beef with the refs also."

"It's psychologically -- you've got to think you're going against the refs, and you can't play the refs," Williams said. "At the end of the day, they've got the last call. When that flag comes out of their pocket, it's their choice to pick it up or not. You know, that's a helpless feeling."

Shanahan said he has spoken to the players involved. Some of the linemen were wearing microphones, which the league can use to verify exactly what happened.

"I feel very strongly about words that were used to our players," Shanahan said, "because you have a number of players that said they heard it. I'm disappointed in what had happened, but that's probably all I can discuss at this point."

After the game, a pool reporter approached the officials' bus and asked head referee Walt Coleman for comment. The reporter said Coleman directed the driver to roll up the window, and the bus pulled away.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the incident is "under review."

Trent Williams (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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