Report: NFL to penalize use of racial slur
The NFL may soon be cracking down on the use of the N-word, at least on the field.
Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome confirmed the league’s competition committee, of which he is a member, discussed a proposal to rule an automatic 15-yard penalty for first-time offenders and an ejection for second infractions, according to an ESPN report.
John Wooten, the head of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, which works with the NFL to promote a more diverse work force, anticipates the NFL will enact the rule at the owners’ meeting next month.
Said Newsome: “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. So we did discuss it over the last three days.”
Newsome also said the committee discussed other slurs for the possible rule, including homophobic ones.
“I will be totally shocked if the competition committee does not uphold us on what we’re trying to do,” Wooten said, according to CBSSports.com. “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.”
The competition committee will officially agree to the rule before presenting it to the owners, Wooten said. The committee meets in Naples, Fla., next week and the owners’ meetings are in March.
“I think they’re going to do what needs to be done here,” Wooten said. “There is too much disrespect in the game.”
Said Newsome: “With any rule that we put into play we have to look at it from A to Z and find out any unintended consequences as much as the consequences. So, as it was stated in our meeting, there are mics everywhere, so if something has been said it’s probably going to be captured somewhere. So there will be an opportunity to get it verified if we have to.”