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Racial and homophobic slurs to be banned in NFL

By Alex Farmer
On March 5, 2014

The competition committee for the NFL is expected to discuss the possibility of implementing a rule that would cause players to be penalized 15 yards every time an official hears a racial slur such as the N-word. This ban could potentially include homophobic slurs as well.
Interestingly enough, this ban isn't being looked upon as a positive move by some African-American players who were asked about it. Richard Sherman, who is quickly becoming a face of the NFL, called the move an "atrocious idea that is almost racist."
He says the NFL is targeting one specific word instead of just banning all curse words. However, Baltimore Ravens General Manager Ozzie Newsome serves on the competition committee and wanted to make it clear that they are also looking at banning other discriminating slurs under this new rule.
Jason McCourty, cornerback for the Tennessee Titans, agrees with Sherman: "It seems like a bit much for the NFL to try to get rid of it. Among African-American players and people, it's used among friends all the time."
This is what McCourty told when asked about the potential ban. Sherman and free-agent linebacker D'Qwell Jackson were also interviewed by and out of the three, only Jackson supported the ban.
Other players like Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Clark has also expressed concern about the proposal. When asked about it by ESPN's "Outside The Lines," Clark said that the rule would be "really tough to legislate." This idea mixes with Sherman's statement that "The N-word isn't always used as a racial slur, especially among black players."
However, there are some people who think this is a great move by the NFL. John Wooten, a former NFL lineman and the chairman of the Fritz Pollard Alliance Foundation, supports it fully and even questions whether the 15-yard penalty is strong enough punishment. He says that players should have to face ejections for using certain words constantly. The former player also claimed that he would be forgiving if used in the preseason as a warning period to the players.
Although certain language in regular-season games would result in automatic ejections after the first warning. Wooten told that he wants it to be "that drastic."
The new rule has to meet approval at the owners' meetings that are scheduled for March 23-26. This is when the NFL plans to address the issue as well as potentially moving forward with the new rule if it meets approval.

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