NFL considers 15 yard penalty for use of racial slurs

posted at 5:01 pm on February 23, 2014 by Jazz Shaw

Is this an important addition to the proper running of NFL games or another layer of political correctness spreading everywhere? According to ESPN, the NFL is getting ready to impose an in game penalty on teams when a player uses a racial epithet during a play.

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.

Newsome also said the committee talked about other slurs coming under any possible new rule, including homophobic slurs.

Wooten, who previously has urged all players to stop using the N-word, thinks the NFL will rule an automatic 15-yard penalty for first-time offenders and an ejection for second infractions.

One assumes that this penalty will also apply to slurs regarding Jews, Muslims, gays, Native Americans and left handed players as well. But does this type of behavior really fall under what would be considered the rules of the game? I don’t think so. I can see ejecting someone from the game, and certainly the team’s owners should be able to fine – or even suspend – players for actions which they feel besmirch the team. But a fifteen yard penalty in the middle of a drive? How does unacceptable, racist speech relate to the game structure which governs the actions of the players? This seems completely out of step with the entire concept of the rules committee.

Further, what about players who use the term regarding their own friends and teammates in a way not intended to insult them? I’m not saying I approve of it personally, but the fact of the matter is that we do hear some black celebrities in sports, music or movies using the term in a casual way about each other. Will they have their TD drive shut down at midfield if they are not intentionally hurling racial invectives, but just saying something to their buddy that they would say in the locker room anyway? This looks very much like the rules committee meddling in an area where they don’t belong, potentially opening up a can of worms in terms of unintended consequences.


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majorzot

You sho’ must have a lotta black folks as friends!

lostmotherland on February 23, 2014 at 6:36 PM

Who in the NFL decides what is a racial slur?

hawkdriver on February 23, 2014 at 6:37 PM

You also get a penalty on Hot Air if you say one…
;-)

albill on February 23, 2014 at 6:38 PM

I miss the old days when you could just call a spade a spade.

toure on February 23, 2014 at 6:31 PM

Got any hose?

Oh, and, how’s your ditch to North Korea coming? Did you reach Albania yet?

Del Dolemonte on February 23, 2014 at 6:38 PM

lostmotherphucer on February 23, 2014 at 6:31 PM

…well…now we know what you do …all day!

KOOLAID2 on February 23, 2014 at 6:39 PM

Good. Zero tolerance policy. Watch the game change.

Murphy9 on February 23, 2014 at 6:39 PM

Who in the NFL decides what is a racial slur?

hawkdriver on February 23, 2014 at 6:37 PM

Same guy that decides it for comments on Hot Air?
;-)

albill on February 23, 2014 at 6:39 PM

After all, nothing quite says “American” like n*gg*r.

toure on February 23, 2014 at 6:33 PM

Brit John Lennon could not be reached for comment. He was due to be eligible for US citizenship the year after he was shot.

Del Dolemonte on February 23, 2014 at 6:42 PM

Who in the NFL decides what is a racial slur?

hawkdriver on February 23, 2014 at 6:37 PM

Same guy that decides it for comments on Hot Air?
;-)

albill on February 23, 2014 at 6:39 PM

Not the guy from “Hymie Town”?

hawkdriver on February 23, 2014 at 6:42 PM

What if you insult a player’s mother?

John the Libertarian on February 23, 2014 at 6:43 PM

Hell, why not go full Knucklehead, and penalize for
ALL Cursing.

That way the game will be 4 quarters of 15 yard penalties…

Effing idiots.

ToddPA on February 23, 2014 at 6:44 PM

25 or so years ago, I managed to score a sideline press pass for a game here in New England at the old “Schaefer” Stadium, and as such I was right down by the benches (I spent one half of the game behind the Patriots’ bench, the other half on the other side of the field.) I was also there for the pre-game warmups, so got to hear all of the trash talking.

During the entire time I was on the stadium sidelines, I heard the “N” word exactly…0 times.

Del Dolemonte on February 23, 2014 at 5:32 PM

In a way, I think you may have answered your own question, or made an important point.

Lolo on February 23, 2014 at 6:53 PM

Will they redefine “sacking” the quarterback too?

mikeintsn on February 23, 2014 at 6:55 PM

Will they redefine “sacking” the quarterback too?

mikeintsn on February 23, 2014 at 6:55 PM

Michael Sam plays defense. He could get some sacks.

VegasRick on February 23, 2014 at 6:59 PM

After all, nothing quite says “American” like n*gg*r.

lostmotherland on February 23, 2014 at 6:33 PM

You may want to ask the black players in the NFL, who use
it constantly towards each other during games…
you could be on to something…maybe they’re proud as Hell
to be Americans….

ToddPA on February 23, 2014 at 6:59 PM

Here you go. NFL kryptonite.

Dongemaharu on February 23, 2014 at 7:01 PM

Actually, he made $44.2 million in the 2012-2013 season.

We know his salary because the NFL is tax-exempt.

Del Dolemonte on February 23, 2014 at 6:10 PM

Why the @%$%@# is something as insanely profitable, and unimportant as the NFL tax exempt?????? Oh well, the problem really is too systemic to be fixed. The patient is terminal. Let it burn and start over.

DFCtomm on February 23, 2014 at 7:01 PM

I’d rather see a penalty for using the F word or cursing. At what time did the N word become less acceptable than Mother F…er?

rich8450 on February 23, 2014 at 7:06 PM

Hell, why not go full Knucklehead, and penalize for
ALL Cursing.

ToddPA on February 23, 2014 at 6:44 PM

And picking your nose. Don’t forget picking your nose.

Fifteen yards for picking your nose.

petefrt on February 23, 2014 at 7:07 PM

VegasRick:

Was thinking of Shain’s post upthread:

Is calling someone a “teabagger” a considered a slur or is it simply considered an act of free speech that parrots the POTUS?

ShainS on February 23, 2014 at 5:07 PM

mikeintsn on February 23, 2014 at 7:14 PM

After all, nothing quite says “American” like n*gg*r.

lostmotherland on February 23, 2014 at 6:33 PM

…and ‘gerrymandering’.

slickwillie2001 on February 23, 2014 at 7:23 PM

Goodell must go!

Akzed on February 23, 2014 at 7:23 PM

Your mother wear combat boots. Taunting is as old as sports. Ty Cobb to Larry Bird. From playgrounds to stadiums. Without taunting there is no competition. “Face” as my opponent scored….”score board, a hole ” would be the reply.

jaywemm on February 23, 2014 at 7:24 PM

slickwillie2001 on February 23, 2014 at 7:23 PM

How do you think Ted Cruz became a Senator? Gerrymandering. lostmotherland on October 17, 2013 at 1:39 PM

Never. Gets. Old.

Akzed on February 23, 2014 at 7:30 PM

Without taunting there is no competition.

Sad. Glad I’m not your relative.

lostmotherland on February 23, 2014 at 7:33 PM

Football is a boring sport for men on blood pressure medication.

Now, rugby, that is a real sport!

Family friend had 8 concussions in one year playing that one.

antisense on February 23, 2014 at 7:41 PM

Family friend had 8 concussions in one year playing that one.

antisense on February 23, 2014 at 7:41 PM

His later years should be mighty interesting.

Bishop on February 23, 2014 at 7:43 PM

Your mother wear combat boots. Taunting is as old as sports. Ty Cobb to Larry Bird. From playgrounds to stadiums. Without taunting there is no competition. “Face” as my opponent scored….”score board, a hole ” would be the reply.

jaywemm on February 23, 2014 at 7:24 PM

Taunting has never been my style, so I never believed that it was part of competition, however you will compete against people like you who think that it is, and you need to be able to deal with that. I’ve actually come to think of that as one of the character building aspects of sports. Learning to deal with the hazing and taunting is an important preparation for a hostile world. It teaches composure under hostile conditions.

DFCtomm on February 23, 2014 at 7:45 PM

Sad. Glad I’m not your relative.

lostmotherphucker on February 23, 2014 at 7:33 PM

…not as glad…as he is!

KOOLAID2 on February 23, 2014 at 7:53 PM

Obligatory

Ugly on February 23, 2014 at 7:53 PM

You also get a penalty on Hot Air if you say one…
;-)

albill on February 23, 2014 at 6:38 PM

Honky and cracka’ are still permitted and in PC-NFL they’ll probably award yards for saying those.

Since every third word out of Scam Newton’s mouth likely is a 15-yarder will his team forfeit?

viking01 on February 23, 2014 at 7:55 PM

DFCtomm on February 23, 2014 at 7:45 PM

Well said.

petefrt on February 23, 2014 at 7:55 PM

So, will the Redskins have to run 25yd plays to make first down? Sheesh. The NFL is a joke.

GWB on February 23, 2014 at 8:10 PM

Oh, balderdash. Political correctness has truly run to its predictably rediculous end.

Football isn’t ‘Ms. Manner’s’ favorite sport anyway. It’s football, not teatime at Downton Abbey! To have referees become “the ones to whom 300 lb chickified tackles TATTLE” is just rediculous.

My guess is much stuff they say to each other is WAY WORSE than the oh so terrible n-word. If NFL players are so haplessly offended, they maybe need to take up ballet.

marybel on February 23, 2014 at 8:15 PM

I’d rather see a penalty for using the F word or cursing. At what time did the N word become less acceptable than Mother F…er?

rich8450 on February 23, 2014 at 7:06 PM

Probably about the time the Refs stopped using it, but
continued to curse….

ToddPA on February 23, 2014 at 8:18 PM

You could knock the heck out of the opponent

you could shoot steroids

Rape women

have murder charges

Drug charges

DWIs

Pills

gambling

Make it rain at strip clubs

Dont pay your taxes

Fight drunk

Shoot your self in the leg

Pay for abortions

Beat your wife

Dont pay child support

BUT SAY THE “N” Word and it on mother jumper ….15 yards and a warning

Robert R. Lake on February 23, 2014 at 8:23 PM

For those asking, yes… while “niggardly” has nothing to do with racism, (meaning a miser or stingy attitude) it sets off the filters.

Jazz Shaw on February 23, 2014 at 5:41 PM

Then why not amend the “filters”?

Dr. ZhivBlago on February 23, 2014 at 8:25 PM

If they pass this BS. I’d love to see in the first game all players keep repeating the oh so horrible “N’ word til they all are ejected.

What’s next ? Can’t talk about the opponents mothers combat boots. Geez !

Texyank on February 23, 2014 at 8:33 PM

Define racial slur. I’ve played football been around high levels of play (NFL) and to my knowledge what I believe to be racial slurs are not used, hardly ever. Unless you include black on black comments. Usually, your ancestry comes up quite a bit; such as: your sister, your mother and on special occasions your grandmother. This seems more like another social engineering endeavor.

DDay on February 23, 2014 at 9:20 PM

What a joke! I wonder what hand signals the officials will use for this potty-mouth- penalty …maybe they can put one hand over their own mouth and do a no-no/tisk-tisk finger wave with the other? Oh, and then what will happen if rowdy fans decide to chant the penalized word? So much for crowd safety when this penalty gets called on a crucial 3rd down/ in the red-zone/with 1 minute left in the 4th – and some fans have had too much to drink….
The NFL never should have started wearing all of that pink stuff!!!

redwhiteblue on February 23, 2014 at 9:49 PM

2014-15, the first season where teams will finish with negative yardage for the year. ;-)

What are they going to do, mic up the players, or have a bunch of monitors listening to those half-spherical directional mic feeds? C’mon on… can we get some monitors going on the trading floors of Wall Street, or in restaurant kitchens across America, or maybe barber shops and beauty parlors?

TheLoudTalker on February 23, 2014 at 9:56 PM

You also get a penalty on Hot Air if you say one…
;-)

albill on February 23, 2014 at 6:38 PM

Whatever you say or do, make absolutely CERTAIN that you never ever mention the HotAir “markdown monkey”.

My collie says:

Trust us. CC is speaking from experience on this one.

CyberCipher on February 23, 2014 at 10:09 PM

Are they going to mic every player and have a ref designated to sorting out who said what?

cptacek on February 23, 2014 at 10:14 PM

What if a black man uses the N word?

Is it OK to say “cracker?”

Can a gay player make a slur against a straight?

JellyToast on February 23, 2014 at 10:24 PM

Can the NFL really be this stupid? The day the NFL meets Politically Correct will be the demise of the NFL.

bflat879 on February 23, 2014 at 10:30 PM

Stuff like that may convince me that my wife has a point, and turn off the game for good. …sheesh…

Ricard on February 23, 2014 at 11:09 PM

But maybe you don’t get penalized if you state your insult in the form of a late 1970s Iranian revolutionary, like “Your field position festers in the mouths of Zionist jackrabbits!”

I can see Ndamukong Suh saying that in Jay Cutler’s face, sure.

segesta on February 23, 2014 at 11:25 PM

You sho’ must have a lotta black folks as friends!

lostmotherland on February 23, 2014 at 6:36 PM

I do. I’ve also worked around lots of them.

majorzot on February 23, 2014 at 11:27 PM

Is it just players? What about coaches? What about the water boy? What if a fan says something?? And, a 15 yard penalty? This is a bad idea, they are going to decide games on which team uses the most slurs?? If they are going to get all PC, they should just stick to fines.

Dollayo on February 23, 2014 at 11:38 PM

And that includes the polar bear, I hope….

You know, Obama certainly has done his part to divide just about everything, including sport.

The climate he engenders certainly ain’t global and warm, you can say that for Barack O.

Sherman1864 on February 24, 2014 at 12:05 AM

Rush is right. The NFL is becoming too wussified. It will not be America’s game much longer on this path. People watch sports to get away from the political correctness nazis. Wussify the game enough, the game will kill itself.

Techster64 on February 24, 2014 at 12:14 AM

The NFL is becoming as liberal and as insane as MSNBC, and ESPN is going along. Re: the latter, how could there be two full days of coverage about one football player’s sexual choices? Why do we even want to know?

Christian Conservative on February 24, 2014 at 12:31 AM

Whatever happened to the First Amendment in the NFL?

Whatever happened to “Sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me?”

Come on, these guys weigh 250 pounds or more! And they can’t handle a little trash talk?

Steve Z on February 24, 2014 at 2:45 AM

Next time Peyton Manning calls out “Omaha”, he’ll get 15 yards for insulting a German player about Omaha Beach.

Steve Z on February 24, 2014 at 2:50 AM

In a world where no team will touch Tim Tebow, you get what you deserve. In this case, a league full of profane, selfish, lawless thugs.

Freelancer on February 24, 2014 at 3:39 AM

@Freelancer – you’re right. It’s funny that every team doesn’t want Tebow on their team,because he’ll bring a lot of distraction to that team & YET , it’s perfectly fine for an openly gay player to be drafted by any team ( hopefully it’s a bad team) & accept the distractions he brings, BUT heaven forbid if a openly Christian like Tim Tebow comes out & supports his belief. Once Peyton Manning retires , I probably won’t be a fan of the NFL much longer if this liberal b.s. continues. We all know what this really about, Michael Sam. What happens if Sam decides to be attracted to either a player or coach? & what if that player or coach refuses his advances? You all know what’s going to happen if that does happen or better yet, what will happen if a team cuts him? Because the LBGTXYZ will scream that he was cut because he is gay & no other reason. It’s a sad day here in the U.S. where political correctness will be the death of us.

RightWingConservative on February 24, 2014 at 4:24 AM

I’m sorry, but I stopped reading after:

The head of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, which monitors diversity in the NFL…

bigmacdaddy on February 24, 2014 at 6:18 AM

Censorship in all areas of society is but total control of our lives. This political correctness weapon is but blatant censorship and an evil that seeks to always to cover its diabolical intent in the glow of goodness.

On the other hand, I suppose if Satan can quote God’s own scripture to Crist….

Don L on February 24, 2014 at 6:27 AM

Has ANYONE ever heard of this even happening ? If the real goal is racial harmony, how is it possible that publicizing something nobody even knew was happening going to help ?

Furthermore, I HIGHLY doubt that when this allegedly occurs, that it is a white player talking to a black player, considering more than half the players on the field are black. Are we really going to go nuts for this and penalize the word when exchanged between two black players ? Really?!

deadrody on February 24, 2014 at 7:53 AM

I bet this penalty is enforced as if it were a hate crime law.

Only against whites. NEVER against blacks.

Between this and other travesties the NFL is doing to it’s game, and Baseball outlawing home plate collisions (but not the catcher blocking the plate) I’m about done with sports.

ConstantineXI on February 24, 2014 at 7:55 AM

15 yards for this?

smellthecoffee on February 24, 2014 at 8:07 AM

What is the penalty for lying to the American people for four and a half years?

Lee Jan on February 24, 2014 at 8:19 AM

Leave it to the commenters at HotAir to defend the right to use racial slurs

mr.fusion on February 24, 2014 at 9:15 AM

One assumes that this penalty will also apply to slurs regarding Jews, Muslims, gays, Native Americans and left handed players as well.

Stadium announcers will be fined $1,000 for each utterance of “Redskins”.

In addition, QBs will be prohibited from saying “Kill Kill Kill” at the line of scrimmage. It too scary for the defensive players.

BobMbx on February 24, 2014 at 9:17 AM

the NFL is getting ready to impose an in game penalty on teams when a player uses a racial epithet during a play.

Eipithets against Christians, of course, will result in no penalty however.

NoFanofLibs on February 24, 2014 at 9:36 AM

All I know is that when I watch football, I find myself thinking, “You know what would make this game better? More penalties.”

Mullaney on February 24, 2014 at 10:15 AM

Pfft. 15 yard penalty? Not exactly zero tolerance. Guess they were too wishy-washy to go for a straight ejection.

Christien on February 24, 2014 at 11:07 AM

If a receiver isn’t getting any passes can he tell the quarterback to stop being niggardly with the football?

Mark1971 on February 23, 2014 at 5:13 PM

No, that’d be ‘bogarting’ the football.

Nape-wa-ste on February 24, 2014 at 11:11 AM

Leave it to the commenters at HotAir to defend the right to use racial slurs

mr.fusion on February 24, 2014 at 9:15 AM

\

Leave to one of your cohorts on the left to actually use slurs directed at others:

You sho’ must have a lotta black folks as friends!

lostmotherland on February 23, 2014 at 6:36 PM

zoyclem on February 24, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Well this is certainly a queer development.

William Eaton on February 23, 2014 at 6:11 PM

Kee! Easily the funniest thing I’ve read yet. Good one, Will.

Nape-wa-ste on February 24, 2014 at 11:39 AM

Taunting has never been my style, so I never believed that it was part of competition, however you will compete against people like you who think that it is, and you need to be able to deal with that. I’ve actually come to think of that as one of the character building aspects of sports. Learning to deal with the hazing and taunting is an important preparation for a hostile world. It teaches composure under hostile conditions.

DFCtomm on February 23, 2014 at 7:45 PM

Very wise statement.
I used to clack the pads in high school and heard a little smack but you ignore it and do your job- destroy the opponent. And start cross blocking the mouthy ones and make them look through the ear hole of their helmet.
These guys are professionals and should leave the smack out of it. It’s not like they’re not gettin’ paid, you know. Do your job and quit wasting hot air, oops!

Nape-wa-ste on February 24, 2014 at 12:38 PM

Next time Peyton Manning calls out “Omaha”, he’ll get 15 yards for insulting a German player about Omaha Beach.

Steve Z on February 24, 2014 at 2:50 AM

Funny. :) These fellows are paid to move furniture around (h/t Bernie Mack r.i.p.) and get a little hyped in the locker room pre-game. (A little?). I still say they need to be reminded they are supposed to be professionals. Real pro’s don’t talk smack. Unless they’re lobbyists, of course.

Nape-wa-ste on February 24, 2014 at 12:52 PM

All I know is that when I watch football, I find myself thinking, “You know what would make this game better? More penalties.”

Mullaney on February 24, 2014 at 10:15 AM

And that’s why I love reading the comments. VERY funny. Thanx.

Nape-wa-ste on February 24, 2014 at 1:01 PM

you guys are cute. hey! guess where else you can’t say the N word? IN THIS COMMENTING SECTION!

brushingmyhair on February 24, 2014 at 2:24 PM

Comment pages: 1 2