The NFL is considering enacting a new penalty to its rule book against players who use racist slurs on the field during contests. According to a group that encourages the league to address diversity concerns, teams would a face a 15-yard penalty for using the n-word and other harsh language.
CBS Sports spoke with Fritz Pollard Alliance leader John Wooten about the possibility of the NFL’s Competition Committee putting the rule into effect, expressing his desire to do away with the n-word in the workplace and on the field. Although Wooten’s stance hasn’t been officially recognized by NFL officials, the league seems to have taken some notice. CBS Sports spoke with Wooten at the NFL combine this past week for his comments on the matter.
From CBS Sports:
Wooten spoke about his desire to eradicate the word completely from NFL workplaces at the Fritz Pollard event during the combine, wanting it to be fineable and policed throughout team facilities, and received a standing ovation according to those in attendance. Wooten said he will continue being vigilant about this with the NFL office and Commissioner Roger Goodell.
“I will be totally shocked if the competition committee does not uphold us on what we’re trying to do,” Wooten said. “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 NFL didn’t offer a comment on Wooten’s suggestion, but did confirm there needs to be changes implemented on and off the field. The competition committee will hear more of Wooten’s plan in March, who will then decide whether to take the matter to the team owners. Wooten is confident that the measure will pass.
For a bit of history, Fritz Pollard was the first Black coach of the NFL. The alliance that bears his names works with the league in promoting diversity and fair hiring practices.
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