Mike Carey to become first black referee at Super Bowl

The NFL confirmed Wednesday that Mike Carey will lead the officiating crew in this weekend's Super Bowl, becoming the first African-American to referee the game.

The NFL confirmed Wednesday that Mike Carey will lead the officiating crew in this weekend's Super Bowl, becoming the first African-American to referee the game.

The landmark appointment follows last year's historic Super Bowl, which featured two African-American head coaches — Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith.

Super Bowl XLII between the New York Giants and New England Patriots goes Sunday (6:17 p.m. ET).

Carey has officiated 14 playoff games over 18 NFL seasons, serving as the alternate referee for Super Bowl XXXVI in 2002.

He also handled the Giants-Patriots matchup on Dec. 29, which New England won 38-35 to close out the regular season with a perfect 16-0 record.

Carey will be accompanied by two other black officials, line judge Carl Johnson and field judge Boris Cheek, as well as umpire Tony Michalek, head linesman Gary Slaughter, side judge Larry Rose, back judge Scott Helverson and replay assistant Ken Baker.

The seven-man crew has a combined total of 71 years of NFL officiating experience.

They were chosen using the NFL's evaluation system, which rewards the highest-rated officials with the opportunity to work the historic sporting event.

With files from the Associated Press