PHILADELPHIA - Redskins veteran Trent Williams said after Sunday’s 24-16 loss to the Eagles that he was verbally harassed by an official toward the end of the first half. Williams said he wasn’t sure exactly why the official went off him, but the Pro Bowl left tackle said it was profanity-laced and unprovoked. Williams identified the official who made the comments as umpire Roy Ellison.
“When you have a ref come to you, while you’re at the line about to run a play and call you …excuse my language, but a, ‘Garbage a--, disrespectful mother------,’” Williams said in the visitors' locker room at Lincoln Financial Field. “To me, this is a player’s league. I just don’t think there’s no room for that, for you [to] have to take that from the [opposing] team and the refs. I think it’s very unprofessional. It sucks. 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.”
Guard Kory Lichtensteiger corroborated Williams’ account. As Williams was speaking to reporters, wide receiver Pierre Garçon implored Williams to stop talking about the incident, warning his teammate that he could face a fine for his comments. Williams told Garçon that he would deal with the consequences. Williams said the comments were made on the Redskins’ final drive of the first half as Washington trailed 17-0. Linemen often wear microphones to enhance the broadcast, so it’s possible there will be audio proof of the exchange.
“If you rewind the play, you can see him walk by and say something,” Williams said. “And you see me like, ‘What was that?’ It was … No. 81” Ellison. Asked why the official would say that to him, Williams said: “I can’t speak for him. But I can tell you what he said.”
“Psychologically,” Williams added, “you can’t play the refs. At the end of the day, they have the last call. I never disrespected him the way he disrespected me.”
Reporters followed league protocol for obtaining a comment from the referee, who serves as a spokesman for his crew, but Walt Coleman declined to comment to pool reporter Michael Phillips of the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
“The security guard said the officials had left, and they were on a bus about 20 yards away,” Phillips wrote in an email. “I walked over to the bus, and requested to the driver that he ask for Walt Coleman, head referee.”
Phillips continued: “Coleman came to the window and asked how he could help me. I repeated Williams' comments, and asked him to comment on whether that occurred. He said OK, then directed the driver to roll up the window. After the window of the bus was rolled up, it then began driving and left the stadium. No further comment was given.”
- Tarik El-Bashir, CSN Washington