The NFL reported recently that they want to put a penalty on racial or sexual slurs beginning this season, specifically the ‘N’ word. Controversy regarding the topic is now circulating. The league wants to put a 15-yard penalty for the use of the word, but is this the NFL’s battle to pick? Are they right to take a stand?
I say yes.
Although the words and context might not mean the same coming from everyone, it is still not right to use. Some in the NFL complain that there is racism that goes on, so why not take steps to prevent that type of judgment?
I am a big supporter of human rights in general, but the line for freedom of speech is often blurred. The NFL is doing the right thing here. What makes it okay for one man to use a term but not another?
If a Caucasian were to say the ‘N’ word to an African American, it could be automatically considered racist. However, when an African American player says the ‘N’ word to a fellow player it is acceptable in most cases. The double standard in that context is not good. “Do as I say, not as I do.” I think the word is demoralizing and predominantly considered a racist term and people should refrain from using it so often.
There are many NFL players that are speaking out on this and Seattle Seahawks’ cornerback Richard Sherman is one of them. Sherman explains how the word is used frequently in the locker rooms and during nearly every snap on the field.
How can it be okay for a few people to say it and not everyone? If you believe the word is fine, then let everyone say it. That is the kind of the sense I am getting from the players that are opposed to the ban. If I don’t find it offensive, it is okay to use? Well I’m sorry to rain on your parade, but just because you don’t find it offensive doesn’t mean I don’t.
The NFL is becoming such a “dog-eat-dog” world. I still enjoy the games on Sunday, but it is becoming an episode of Jersey Shore to me. The drama that occurs inside and outside the locker room is embarrassing to the league. It’s easy for the NFL to push these things under the carpet because of the billion and billions of dollars their pulling in. They’re not going to be able to hide the positive publicity forever and they’re going to have to deal with the racial slurs and other issues at hand.
In context of race and sexual orientation, slurs are becoming a bigger problem as time goes on. Banning racial, homophobic and other offensive slurs would be a big step for future generations. We’re not just talking about the decision impacting the next few years, but the lives of our children and their children would be impacted as well. If the words aren’t said or taught as acceptable, then they become history. When they are said over and over again, it almost becomes mind numbing and that’s not for the better of society.
As future parents we need to recognize the decisions that we’re making now could have huge impacts on our children. Eliminating offensive slurs from our mouths could help to create a better tomorrow. The NFL needs to take these steps in the right direction and use their platform to set a standard.