Opinion: The N word in the NFL
Who uses the N-word anymore? Apparently players in the National Football League use it so much that it soon may become a 15-yard penalty. While the NFL considers this rule, with good intentions, it could spoil the intensity and hard edge this game requires from its players.
By eliminating a certain word from trash talk on the field and in the locker rooms, this rule will interfere with the job they’re paid to do. Interfere is the key word here. Are players behind this possible rule or are Caucasian men who run the NFL fed up.
We expect our favorite team to demolish the opposing team, and we insist players subject their bodies to a lifetime of pain and accept they may have brain damage after their career is over, but we can no longer let them say the N-word in the heat of battle.
There’s one major problem this ruling has overlooked, the basis in choosing one word that is offensive to one race. It’s pointing the finger at Caucasian players and stopping African American players from using what is to them, an acceptable word in communicating to other African Americans.
If a rule like this is put in place with no consideration of all other ethnic slurs, than therein lies a huge problem. As the first ever openly gay man has just been drafted to play in the NFL next season, I think the league should be more concerned with the safety and future wellbeing of a, so far, unaccepted type of player.
African American football players are not being picked on by white guys, in fact, most recently it has been the opposite. African American players like Richard Sherman, of the Seattle Seahawks, are weighing in on this, “It’s almost racist, to me. Why wouldn’t all curse words be banned then.”
Football has long been a sport where men settled their differences on the field. While you and I may get fired from our jobs for saying the N-word, football players have never been made to codify their trash talk. Why ask them to stop now?
The Competition Committee, made up of eight NFL coaches and managers, have been meeting in Florida this past week debating the possible rule. If the committee recommends this new rule it will then be voted on by NFL team owners on March 23.