Mike Carey First Black Super Bowl Ref


(AP Photo/James A. Finley, file) :: Referee MikeCarey signals touchdown following a St. Louis Rams challenge to a touchdown by the Carolina Panthers during the first half of their NFC playoff game in St. Louis in this Jan. 11, 2004 file photo. Carey, who will head the officiating crew for Sunday's Super Bowl between the New York Giants and New England Patriots, will be the first black referee at a Super Bowl.


Updated: 1/31/2008

FOXBOROUGH, Mass.

Mike Carey will become the first black referee in Super Bowl history.

Carey, in his 18th year as an official, was notified by the NFL office this week he had the assignment for the Feb. 3 game in Glendale, Ariz. The NFL will not officially announce the assignments until the week of the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl officials are chosen on merit, with the highest ranked at each position getting the assignment. Carey, who runs a skiing accessories company, has been among the NFL's top crew chiefs for a decade and has been a Super Bowl alternate, but has never been the referee.

Black officials have been increasing in number over the years. This season there were 26 on the 17 crews, a single-season high.

They also have been well-represented in the Super Bowl at other officiating spots. Among them was Burl Toler, a former player who worked several early games.


Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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