Legislating Language: Will the NFL Ban the N-Word?

The kinship between Joe Flacco and Dennis Pitta is one of the reasons why it was smart for the Ravens to lock up the tight end before he hit the open market. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
The kinship between Joe Flacco and Dennis Pitta is one of the reasons why it was smart for the Ravens to lock up the tight end before he hit the open market. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Ten Things I Think I Think

1. I think the Ravens’ deal for tight end Dennis Pitta (five years, $32 million, at age 28) was smart and will pay great dividends. Two reasons: Pitta is the perfect complement to a strong outside passing game for Joe Flacco, a smart and sure-handed receiver who knows how to get open in small spaces. And Flacco and Pitta are best pals. For Pitta to count as about 4% of the cap over the next three or four years is very good value for the Ravens.

2. I think there’s no way I’m giving up two first-round picks and $12 million a year for a tight end, particularly one I’m not sure is going to be great consistently against physical defenses. That’s not a knock on Jimmy Graham. But two ones and 9% of your cap? Nope. Really good player. Not worth that.

3. I think now that De Smith has told the current player reps he’d like to stay on the job as executive director of the NFLPA for as long as they want him, the question is, Who will be the next generation of player leaders, and will they want Smith to continue when his current term expires in March 2015? There will be a new president and as many as seven of 10 new Executive Board members elected later this month, and the usual changeover in the player reps will help determine Smith’s future.

4. I think a De Smith-Sean Gilbert battle would be interesting, if only for this issue: Smith is adamantly opposed to an 18-game schedule, and Gilbert’s on record saying he’d be willing to give the owners 18 games in the regular season in exchange for a three-year path to free agency.

The Top 100 Free Agents

Whatever the needs, NFL teams will soon be scrambling to fill them on the open market. Greg Bedard ranks the top available players. 100-51 | 50-1

5. I think I cannot see a majority of players agreeing with Gilbert. I just can’t.

6. I think if I’m guessing where Jairus Byrd lands—assuming he’s not tagged by the Bills—I’m guessing Tampa Bay. His dad, Gil Byrd, is an assistant coach in the secondary for the Bucs. Not many instances of father coaching son in NFL history.

7. I think we all want to know: Jerry Jones, what were you doing at the Oscars last night?

8. I think if Peyton Manning flunks his 2014 physical—Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com reports the exam will happen today—I will eat this laptop. The Broncos are not about to let that happen.

9. I think the biggest sign that Greg Schiano will someday work with Bill Belichick in New England, and the most interesting personnel result from the last week, is this: New England could start three Rutgers Scarlet Knights in the secondary this fall: free safety Devin McCourty (round one, 2010), strong safety Duron Harmon (round three, 2013) and cornerback Logan Ryan (round three, 2013).

10. I think these are my non-football thoughts of the week:

a. Lupita Nyong’o. Awesome.

b. Nyong’o: “No matter where you are from, your dreams are valid.”

c. Great job, P!nk.

d. Great job, U2.

e. But you, Bette Midler, you are still amazing. What a voice, what a song.

f. RIP, Harold Ramis. Groundhog Day is in my all-time top 20.

g. Who can forget this line from the Ramis classic, from the long-lost and forgotten insurance man, Ned Ryerson: “Ned! Ryerson! Needle-Nose Ned! Ned the Head! Ned Ryerson! Come on buddy! Case Western High! I did the whistling belly-button trick at the high school talent show! Bing! Ned Ryerson. Got the shingles real bad senior year, almost didn’t graduate! Bing, again! Ned Ryerson, I dated your sister Mary Pat a couple times till you told me not to anymore. Well?” Just watch it.

h. The look Bill Murray gives Ned … one of the greatest in Murray history.

i. Wow. What a putt by Paula Creamer.

j. If this is it for Martin Brodeur in New Jersey after nearly a quarter-century as the goaltender of the Devils (1991-2014), and I hope it is not (the NHL trading deadline is Wednesday, and Brodeur is a clear number two in goal now for the Devils), it should be noted that Brodeur has 132 more wins in goal than any goalie ever, and 21 more shutouts than any goalie ever. All for Jersey.

k. Beernerdness: Thanks to my friends at the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and especially Joe Horrigan, for taking us out to a place that served Great Lakes Brewing’s Burning River Pale Ale. Fresh and with a good bite, this ale reminded me of the San Diego pale ale, Ballast Point. Both have a touch of pine. This is my favorite of the Great Lakes beers.

The Adieu Haiku

Commercials. Which has
more—Oscars or Super Bowl?
Brick through the TV.

mmqb-end-slug-square

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536 comments
Norman Keister
Norman Keister

I vote for the NFL ( white only ) and the NFL ( black only ) and we will see which one makes the cut !!!!

RickDesper
RickDesper

Phill Simms is a scientist.  (*chortle*)

DfpMiiWe
DfpMiiWe

For the best content and news go to dailyfirstpages.com. 

ScottConrad
ScottConrad

If I am a black defensive player, I get in a little skirmish with Riley Cooper, say the N word loud enough for a nearby official to hear it, then act like Riley said and see if I can get the penalty called on him.  


In reality, you add on field language as a point of emphasis for unsportsmanlike conduct calls this next year.


It will probably be called as much as last year's controversial RB leading with crown of helmet penalty...

number18
number18

Jaws and Idiot Sims only speak up when it is Politically Correct to do so and LiL pete"likes that".

number18
number18

Simple Solution: Only blacks can use the Nword.Sounds fair.

H.LewisSmith
H.LewisSmith

How did the Black African American community come about seeing and using the n-word as a term of endearment?Just what is the true significance of their use of the word n**ga?The answers to these questions and much more are revealed in the following publication which was released on February 10, 2014:

https://www.createspace.com/4655015

BigSchtick
BigSchtick

NFL refs can't seem to get visual calls right. Now they are supposed to be running around listening to on the field banter?

Ridiculous.

MichaelHanny
MichaelHanny

Several retired Black football players and executives (who paved the way for current players) have come out in support of a proposal to legislate the "n" word out of the NFL, instituting a 15 yard penalty for use of the word during games.


NFL player Richard Sherman came out and stated that the proposal is "racist", and there are many who disagree with him, while agreeing withthese former players and pioneers that the word is degrading, and that the word is offensive regardless of context.

Offensive language is offensive language. All of it should be prohibited. When the "n" word was used by the black community without the limelight of media (despite white folks overhearing blacks call other blacks this, and saying nothing for decades, even centuries), there was no outcry. Even when the word became "ebonisized" (pronouncing the word with an "a" suffix instead of the "er"), and with the black community using IT both in negative and positive contexts, there was no outcry.  Now, since the NFL "brand" risks being tarnished, folks are coming out for this rule, defending the "shield". 

What about all of the other offensive grunts and verbalizations so common on the gridiron? Can I call a white person a "cracker" and get away with it, while the white person calls me a "n", it's 15 yards? Is this right? 

Kudos to Sherman. He called a spade a spade. This puts young black men in the spotlight in a negative way once again, veiled by the "righteousness" and "history" that is quite apparent and recognized by most. Racism comes in many forms, and this is yet another form. Too bad those former Black players and executives don't see this, despite their yeoman and admirable posture and effort.

Acotoz
Acotoz

The biggest question here is how is the NFL going to enforce this? 22 players on the field just a small handful of officials, how many times is the word thrown out when there's a skirmish?? Refs will spend at least 5 minutes explaining all the flags  (Ed Hoculi will spend 10)

KennethJohnson
KennethJohnson

For the N-word, I can't see Dr. King or Malcolm using it. Richard Sherman and the new gen Rappers that N-word is adorned with hundreds of years of whips, chains and pain in America. It is not an affirmation of identity with used among black people,but a subliminal denigration (do you know who you are, and don't you forget it) Malcolm X asked who told you were n*ggers. And no you can't gold plated it or change the spelling for bling. That's mighty white of you(go ask your grandparents).

For The R-word, I suggest the ad, "Redskins and Cowboys-real people, real dead people, not a kids game. When 'Indians" fought to drive back the invading settlers by any means necessary, and the soldiers killed and moved the Native Americans off their land into concentration camps(reservations). We stand behind Redskins, brave fearless freedom fighters for their people and remember." Let get real.   

SARDiver
SARDiver

Overheard between two friends at Manhattan gym:

"See that guy over there? He was checking me out into, within, and out of the steam room. Who the hell is that guy? I used extra towels just to cover myself up, but he kept staring at me."

"I dunno. He was reading a piece on that Sam guy, and I think I heard Bette Midler coming from his iPod."

It's creepy to pay that much attention to another man in a locker room.

SweetLightCrude
SweetLightCrude

The only thing more ridiculous that someone like Sherman defending this word is all the white folks here getting all upset about "reverse racism."


Why is it so flipping important to point out that black people can be racist? Do you seriously think that somehow levels the playing field a bit? Does it make you feel a little less guilty about the past?  

BillieZahurak
BillieZahurak

Just like on the playground in kindergarten, if everyone can't say it, no one should say it.

tbdetermined
tbdetermined

you are here because of your ancestors remember their struggles. do you really want to live in your ignorance? If you demand respect, respect yourself. 

Marc1017
Marc1017

This is probably one of the stupidest things I have ever heard from a League. How are you going to regulate language both logistically and legally? This will only serve to further pussify the NFL even farther than they already have done. Its getting so ridiculous that the replacement "N-word" phrase is synonomus as the actual word. That means the word is fine and its the racist idiot you should be more careful of then his language. This word is no better or worse than any other curse or derrogatory word or phrase in the English language. And if someone uses it with me then I have the spoken right to use it in front of them.

And besides, how am I going to get my Jay-Z freak on if I cant use it? 

Get past it America. We have bigger battles to fight.

BettyGeorge
BettyGeorge

I have always found the use of the N word very disrespectful.  I raised my children not to say it and I also will tell my grandchildren not to.  I even have told my Grand children who are biracial they are not allowed to use that word in my home it is very disrespectful and will continue to do so until the day I die.  I am for the ban and will be happy when it is enforced.   It is something that needs to be done.  They are as much a part of the nfl reguardless of their color o9f their skin.  Color is only skin deep, and we as fans need to stand up and say enough is enough.  We are all of Gods Children reguardless of the color of our skin. 

RobJohnson3
RobJohnson3

None of the races can use the N word?

rohlb2351
rohlb2351

The only solutions by the NFL that might eliminate trash talking is to either to affect the offending players' income with substantial fines or reducing a team's winning potential by ejecting offending players from the game. .Don't expect either to occur.

eljoylan
eljoylan

Another lover of the lime light....That's it Richard....If it's not fixed, let it stay broke.

Junkjunk
Junkjunk

Such an ugly word. Stunning that young blacks use it as cheaply as they do given the terrible, relatively recent history associated with it, and the pain that it continues to cause their elders.  Selfish, disrespectful, ignorant.

JuliaAnD'Elia
JuliaAnD'Elia

This needs to apply to all or none.  Equality does not mean you get to pick and chose. 

nole777
nole777

Use of the N word will only apply to the white players.

Redskins
Redskins

"I’d love to get my hands on Manziel. " Of course you would. But what do you know!

tkeller200
tkeller200

To say its a word, that when used among African-American players, is OK. But not for other races to say. That to me is racist. What other words are we not to use Sherman, please tell me?

RickDesper
RickDesper

@ScottConrad  You really think that would work?  So you're some kind of professional ventriloquist who can throw his voice while imitating somebody else?  


Yeah, that's not going to happen often.

DonnieToby
DonnieToby

@number18 The ONLY way to handle this concern is to make the NFL and AFL an all 'Black' sport, which it is almost already. .

MarvinGardens
MarvinGardens

@Acotoz It's impossible to fairly enforce.  It's comical to even consider.  The entire discussion is a waste of breath.


Bigger question .... why do these people who proclaim to hate the word, find any excuse to use it.  Defies logic.

RickDesper
RickDesper

@SARDiver  Glad to "hear" homophobia is alive and well in Manhattan.  Because I'm sure that story isn't something you just made up.

KidHorn
KidHorn

@SARDiver PK was probably pissed because the guy only left him 4 towels.

MarvinGardens
MarvinGardens

@SweetLightCrude Why should anyone feel guilty about the past.  I don't know anyone who had anything to do with it.  It's time to get over it.

SARDiver
SARDiver

Didn't realize we all needed to feel guilty about the past. If everyone

from a particular race is somehow guilty for the crimes committed by

another in that race, then...the bigots have a point, don't they?

I don't think they do, since the crimes of others are not up for

distribution.

RickDesper
RickDesper

@Marc1017  So the NFL is made more masculine by letting players use racist language with each other?


Not seeing how that logic works.  

number18
number18

@BettyGeorge Ms.Betty,it's the black folks that use this word in the NFL dee mostest.

atreborn
atreborn

@eljoylan  The only thing being fixed is the game!  15 yards as a ref's discretion sounds like "win win " to me.  Maybe Richard should just remain one of the sheep. 

atreborn
atreborn

@tkeller200  I'm white but I can't stand it when other whites are so narrow minded to only hear what suits them.  I'm not sure tkeller200 really cares what Sherman says, only that he does not actually know that Sherman said "Why wouldn't all curse words be banned then".  70% of the NFL is Black.  The white players on the the teams are not the ones complaining.  Ask your self "who is behind this push to end the "N" word. Then ask yourself when was the last time you witnessed an NFL player saying it.  Maybe you should then ask your self "15 yard against your team" because a Referee felt it necessary to control the outcome of the game.  Maybe reading between the lines instead of putting the blinders on should be in question. 

RickDesper
RickDesper

@MarvinGardens @Acotoz  

It's actually pretty easy to enforce.  I'm not seeing the difficulty.


I could make the same argument made above but move it to "throwing punches".

tbdetermined
tbdetermined

@MarvinGardens @SweetLightCrude it's not about feeling guilty, it's about respect. If the word is still around then obviously we are not over it. If you are over it, you would not use the word.  

Junkjunk
Junkjunk

@Redskins Agree, proposed rules would be impossible to enforce.  That said I'm very much in favor of NFL "legislating" against the Redskins name.

Junkjunk
Junkjunk

And sadly, you've established yours.

tarheel2
tarheel2

@Junkjunk @Redskins And I'm also sure you are in favor of legislating against the Bengals as well.  These poor animals are being defamed by Cincinnati using their name.

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