Washington Redskins offensive tackle Trent Williams denies that he directed a racial slur towards NFL official Roy Ellison during last week's game against the Philadelphia Eagles, the Washington Post reports.
Williams claimed after the game that Ellison used derogatory language, calling Williams a "garbage a** disrespectful mother f*****." John Wooten, chairman at the Fritz Pollard Association, claimed after the game that Williams uttered a racial slur at Ellison to provoke Ellison's colorful language.
Wooten said that Ellison should have penalized or ejected Williams instead of retaliating.
"We haven't talked to Roy. But we are told that the players, black and white, were saying all types of things back and forth during the game," Wooten said in a telephone interview. "Roy steps in and says, ‘Let's stop this.' Trent says to him, ‘[Expletive] you, N-word.' By all rights, Roy should have thrown his flag there and said, ‘You're gone.' But he didn't. He comes back at Trent with some bad language. Now Roy is wrong, too."
Williams vehemently denies directing comments towards Ellison. He reiterated Wooten's sentiments that if he did utter a racial slur towards a referee, he should have been punished.
"If I ever said anything like that to a ref and he feels that strongly about the word, that's at least an unsportsmanlike [penalty]. Definitely wouldn't just warrant a tongue-lashing from a guy that's supposed to be the only neutral person on the field and not to feel either way about either team.
"There's trash talk. Trash talk is trash talk. You get that in every sport."
The Fritz Pollard Alliance, which works with the NFL to address diversity issues, claims a "disturbing trend" of games during which racial epithets are being used, perhaps especially the "N" word. Ellison was reportedly trying to curb the use of colorful language during the game, before using an unwise choice of words himself.