Talk to Ban Racial Slurs on the Field
Devonte Keith | Staff Writer
The National Football League and NFL Commissioner
Roger Goodell are currently in discussion on whether a penalty should be placed on players who use the “n-word” as well as homophobic slurs during games. Rather than using the common unsportsmanlike conduct flag, referees would instead enforce a 15-yard penalty any time a player utters a slur. Continued use of the word could also result in ejection as well as fines.
Most would wonder how exactly the NFL would go about enforcing these rules, especially during a fast-paced game where a lot of calls go can unnoticed. One way is on the NFL Network show “Sound FX”, where viewers get an inside look of how players interact verbally on the field as well as on the sidelines. Shows such as these give fans an inside look at their favorite athletes and personalities during the games. Though it may seem like a positive thing, sometimes the fans see how vulgar their favorite players can be during the game as some of the words used are usually censored.
The discussion is getting a lot of support and on the surface it seems as though the NFL has intentions of progressing on-field as well as off the field relationships between the athlete. As a way to make sure cases such as the Richie Incognito bullying scandal that deals with interpersonal relationships between football players don’t happen, this ban seems like the best way to start.
Even though this ban is probably for the best, there is speculation about how much of an effect it would have on the league as well as the individual players
All too many times, fans, coaches, and players alike all gripe, “The ref completely missed that call!” With this new ban, it seems as though the NFL is trivializing the weight this racial slur has had over the course of history. If this ban were enforced, would it make sense to compare something as simple as a missed holding call to a missed racial slur call?
It is also in question as to whether something like that should be drawn attention to during a football game. Even in high school during football games, I heard a lot of other discriminatory, offensive, and vulgar language on the field that no one in the stands could even hear. If that is the case on football fields everywhere, where would the line of penalties be drawn as far as the rules?
Despite the questions raised as far as enforcement of the possible rule, this is a positive change for the NFL. It shows that the NFL has been motivated to create a safe and positive environment for its “employees” since being established over ninety years ago. Players and fans alike are having their voices heard in personal matters and proper changes are being made. The National Football League shows promise in becoming a positive trailblazer in ending discrimination in sports.