In the wake of the damning report released by the NFL detailing the abuse former Miami Dolphins player Richie Incognito doled out on his teammate Jonathan Martin and others, the NFL is expected to penalize the use of the n-word on the field.
The head of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, which monitors diversity in the NFL, expects the league to institute a rule where players would be penalized 15 yards for using the N-word on the field.
John Wooten, the head of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, anticipates that the NFL’s competition committee will enact the rule at the owners’ meeting next month.
“We did talk about it, I’m sure that you saw near the end of the year that Fritz Pollard (Alliance) came out very strong with the message that the league needs to do something about the language on the field,” said Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome, who is on the league’s competition committee. “So we did discuss over the last three days.”
In addition to penalizing the n-word, the NFL owners may vote on also making homophobic slurs subject to a penalty as well.
The new rule has garnered mixed reviews from both fans and players alike. Some have called the penalty “absurd,” citing the fact that nearly 60 percent of the NFL is non-white and some Black players regularly use the word. Others have praise the NFL, and are demanding they go even further and press the Washington Redskins to change the name of their team, which is a Native America slur.
While many question whether or not they can eradicate the use of the n-word, Wooten told CBSSports.com he thinks the league can eliminate the n-word from the NFL.
“I will be totally shocked if the competition committee does not uphold us on what we’re trying to do,” he said. “We want this word to be policed from the parking lot to the equipment room to the locker room.
“Secretaries, PR people, whoever, we want it eliminated completely and want it policed everywhere.”
Wooten added: “I think they’re going to do what needs to be done here. There is too much disrespect in the game.”