Referee bias?: Jason Hatcher Refs Nickname

Published: November 24, 2015

Referee bias?: Jason Hatcher Refs Nickname, Washington Redskins defensive end Jason Hatcher, who played the entirety of Sunday’s game but didn’t get on the stat sheet, made up for his on-field ineptitude with a little off-field awkwardness after his team’s 44-16 loss to the Carolina Panthers. Hatcher — and we can’t stress this enough — who played for a team that lost by 28 points, thinks his 4-6 team is struggling because officials are biased against them for their controversial nickname and, I don’t know, have colluded to punish Washington for this?

MUST WATCH- #Redskins Jason Hatcher on his frustration with refs & how it feels personal because of the team’s name pic.twitter.com/lswvyP5FW4

— Carol Maloney (@carolmaloney4) November 22, 2015

“I don’t know if it’s about the name or what. But, you know, at the same time, we play football and work our butt off too. Don’t single us out.

“At the end of the day, it’s the name. Don’t worry about the name. We players and we work our butt off too. So I’m just frustrated with it. I’m frustrated with it. We shouldn’t have to be punished for that. Every game, there’s been calls after calls that should have been made in our favor but it goes to them. It’s just not right.”

That’s some erudite analysis. No wonder Jerry Jones drafted Hatcher and kept him for eight years. Man, if he and Greg Hardy were together they’d probably split the atom.

Hatcher fails to tackle Cam Newton, probably because of protesters he saw that one time. (AP)

Do Hatcher’s claims hold up? (I can’t believe I’m actually looking this up.) Well, prior to today, the Redskins had been called for 65 penalties, which is in the lower half of the NFL, meaning they’re not called for that many. On the judgment call penalties — offensive and defensive holding, offensive and defensive pass interference, illegal contact — the Redskins are in the top half of the league in three of five: offensive holding, offensive pass interference and illegal contact (they lead the league in that category). But there’s really nothing out of the ordinary. The team was called for nine penalties on Sunday, but the Panthers were flagged for eight for the same amount of yardage by the most flag-happy crew in the NFL.

Of course, to even look up those stats gives credence to Hatcher’s claims, which are the bitter ramblings of a man whose team lost by four touchdowns. The refs certainly didn’t help Washington on Sunday — a pick-six that would have given the Redskins a 21-14 lead was called back on a flag from officials that was correct but shows how the NFL loathes defense in favor of offense. (This is almost certainly what set Hatcher off in the locker room.) And, as someone who watches every Redskins game, I can’t remember the last time anyone was called for holding against the team’s sack-master, Ryan Kerrigan. And, yes, one former former referee, who now works for CBS and has shown a hilarious ineptitude in the booth while analyzing plays that have gone to replay, refused to work Redskins games because he disagreed with the name. But this makes not a conspiracy. (Also, no one has been talking about the name this year. It’ll pop up again during a slow news cycle, but it’s hardly a topic on anyone’s mind right now.)

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