Wednesday, February 06, 2008
Mike Carey- Making Black History
It has been an incredible week of “firsts”—hooray, Obama! Another “first” we shouldn’t overlook is the contribution that Mike Carey made to Super Bowl XLII this past weekend. On February 3, 2008 Carey became the first African American to lead an officiating crew in a Super Bowl game. Carey landed the coveted referee assignment based on a stringent merit system that saw him earn the highest ranking among all NFL referees.
Carey has been an NFL official for 18 years, but a referee much longer than that. In 1972, he officiated Pop Warner games in San Diego. In 1985 he became a WAC conference official. He joined the NFL in 1990 as a side judge, and has been moving up ever since.
When Carey was asked by the Michigan Chronicle (a member of the Black press) about his historic first, he spoke of the importance of change, “I think of the social revolution going on and the social position of the world and you can see change happening right before your eyes.” Carey also didn’t forget to pay homage to his African American elders: “I’m proud of being the first, although there were others, like Al Jury and Johnny Grier, that paved the way for me. I appreciate them and I’m humbled.”
We appreciate you too, Mike Carey.