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Former NFL referee in news for Redskins stance holds snowsports industry role

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Former NFL referee Mike Carey has become a trending topic with the revelation that for years he had asked to not officiate Washington Redskins games due to the team's controversial nickname. Carey worked as an NFL side judge and referee for 24 seasons before he retired this summer to become a CBS Sports analyst. According to a Washington Post report, Carey first made the request quietly in 2006.

While not as discreet as Carey's nickname stand, most NFL fans probably were not aware of his prominent position in the snowsports industry. Carey invented Cat Tracks, sole covers designed to add traction and eliminate wear when walking in ski boots. Carey and Joe Edwards co-founded Seirus Innovation in 1984. Along with Cat Tracks, the company features the Masque line of thermal face protectors and a variety of hats and gloves. In total, Carey owns or shares eight ski-apparel patents.

Carey served as chairman of the board of SnowSports Industries America (SIA) from 2007 to 2010 and now is on the trade group's executive committee. His wife, Wendy Carey, holds the position of CFO and executive vice-president of Seirus Innovation Accessories and currently serves on the SIA board of directors. SIA is best known for its industry trade show held each winter in Denver.

Carey became the first African-American to referee a Super Bowl in 2008. Carey officiated Super Bowl XLII, a New York Giants 17-14 victory over the New England Patriots. He was the second African-American referee in NFL history after Johnny Grier. In 2008, Carey and Ed Hochuli received the most positive responses in an ESPN poll of NFL coaches regarding league officials.

The cold-weather gear company owner ironically lives in balmy San Diego. In his new role as a rules analyst for Thursday night and Sunday NFL games on CBS, Carey is expected to travel to a game site, NFL Network’s studio in Culver City, Calif., or the CBS Broadcast Center in New York City.