"He was never one to come home and complain about what people would say," said Burl Toler Jr., father of the Redskins' wide receiver. "But I know he kind of -- without boasting about it or expressing it -- there were some issues with fans. Number one, they don't like referees. Being a black referee was a double whammy."
Toler worked Super Bowl XIV and retired in 1990, but his legacy has continued. His son carved his path against strong odds, walking on the Cal football team and eventually becoming a three-year starter at linebacker. Now his grandson is hoping to make a name of his own.
Just a few years ago, grandfather, father and the rest of the family used to sit underneath the north end zone scoreboard at Memorial Stadium and watch Toler in Cal blue and gold. He stood 6 feet 2 and ran fast (4.5 in the 40-yard dash), but Cal had 13 wide receivers, and coaches weren't sure Toler would fit. By November of his first year, he was a starter. By his senior season in 2004, he led the Golden Bears in receiving.