NFL likely to make racial slurs a point of emphasis


Although there’s been talk of the NFL adding a rule against racial slurs this offseason, a new rule specifically banning racial slurs seems unlikely to be passed.

Instead, the league will probably make racial slurs a point of emphasis, and remind officials that the NFL already has a rule against abusive language: “Using abusive, threatening, or insulting language or gestures to opponents, teammates, officials ore representatives of the league” is a personal foul penalty in the NFL rule book.

Former NFL head of officiating Mike Pereira said on FOX Football Daily that the league will probably instruct officials to monitor players’ use of language closely and interpret the rule against abusive or insulting language strictly.

“I don’t think we’ll see a rule change coming specifically but I do think we’ll see a point of emphasis coming from this that the officials, it will be put upon them to flag any racial slur, anything they hear that’s a racial slur, period, will draw a 15-yard penalty,” Pereira said.

The NFL has become very sensitive to abusive language since accusations of bullying arose in the Dolphins’ locker room last season. The NFL wants to crack down on the use of racial slurs by players, but the rules already on the books should be sufficient.

76 responses to “NFL likely to make racial slurs a point of emphasis

  1. Is this a joke?? I understand the importance of this issue but the NFL is allowing the Redskins to keep there name but possibly giving players a 15 yard penalty for racial slurs. The word hypocrit comes to mind.

  2. so what is next? ban any sort of cursing too?

    where does it stop? I really don’t want my team to on 3rd down, after a huge stop, get a penalty because some moron says the N word congratulating another teammate. this is where we are headed, that is not good.

  3. I can’t wait to see Ed Hochuli ask for quiet while he reviews the voice replay, LOL. I also can tell you that after personally speaking with many of the SEC players, the odds of clearly understanding what is being said is about 1%.

    New England will also find a way to throw voices & get back to the Super Bowl, only to lose to Eli again who can Jedi mind-trick people into believing he’s a great QB.

  4. The NFL is getting to be like Congress: every time they get together for a meeting we should all cry. They strip away a little bit of what football/America is with more rules.

    How would you like to be a referee trying to decide what is proper free speech? How about a game decided because one player called another one a ‘foul’ name?

    I’m going to go cry awhile.

  5. We can all see where this is going…

    A ref on National TV is going to flag the wrong guy and call him a racist on in front of the entire country.

    That innocent guy is going to get death threats and his children will be harassed in school.

    It will get very ugly very quickly.

    This is a VERY STUPID idea..

  6. This is another way for organized gambling rings to use NFL referees to “fix” games.

    A referee could simply say player X said the word and that is that as you likely could not disprove it with video. You still think Tim D in the NBA was the only referee fixing game? Just watch …

  7. They will be astounded to find that 99.9999% of all of the “racial” slurs are said by members of that race.

  8. Half the officials can’t get the calls right in the first place and now you want them to be the speech police on top of that? The owners has lost their minds.

  9. Rush nails it: ” The NFL wants to penalize the use of the N-word — 15 yards — when used by the players on the field during the game. It’ll be a 15-yard penalty for use of the N-word in a league populated by 75% African-Americans. “

  10. Its all about the ending…

    “excuse me mr. football player, did you just end your N word with an ‘A’ or and ‘ER'”

    This is just flat out getting ridiculous

  11. Will the referee announce the slur so players know what the infraction was? *ref turns mic on* “Personal foul, 15 yard penalty, player used the word pasty white bread cracker to another player…. first down'”

  12. The liberal progressives are out to ruin this game. And they will not stop until football is an after thought. Piece by piece they are destroying it, just like what they gave done to thus country

  13. I’m sorry but this is just absurd. The refs don’t have enough on their plate? Now they have to monitor in game dialogue? They could barely handle their duties last year.

  14. This is ridiculous. There is a huge difference between bullying in a locker room and someone calling someone else a name on the field in the heat of the game. Maybe the NFL should make it a point of emphasis to get better officiating as the games are already being impacted and delayed by more and more poorly called and ill times penalties as it is. This game is on its way to destruction at the hands of idiots.

  15. Congratulations NFL you have now given any stupid word any one person can say so much more power and meaning then it ever deserved. Will we be referring to dooty head as the “D” word in 5 years?

  16. So are they going to start censoring the music at the stadiums too? I’m willing to bet the N word is dropped more through the sound system during a game than it is by the players.

  17. The NFL has turned into a league of pansies, what a joke.

    I can hear it now, “He called me a name!”

  18. Just the “N” word? that’s seems like a bit of reverse racism to me. If it’s a penalty for that, then it should be for any name calling such as “Cracker” etc…

  19. It’s an ugly part of the game. One of the only decisions Goodell MIGHT get right during his tenure. He needs to sort out the Redskins name, too. That abomination of a name is disgusting and needs to be eradicated.

  20. I think there is a way for the NFL to accomplish this objective without using a penalty, which can affect the outcome of a game. This hyper sensitivity to political correctness is getting ridiculous.

  21. @jarepine: Perhaps that’s exactly why they’re dealing with this through the existing rules instead of drafting a new rule. Unless there are any Native American players or officials in the NFL (Are there? Not to my knowledge), no one on the field is going to take the use of Washington’s team nickname as being aimed personally at them or anyone else on the field, much less in an “abusive, threatening, or insulting” manner. Indeed, unless the Redskins team is playing, no one’s likely to use that term on the field at all.

  22. Love it. Its about time the league steps in. They are the employer and can set the standard just like any other employer that says no facial hair, dress attire, etc. Can’t wait to see them get rid of the dreads too!

  23. Roger Goodells NFL is a joke, and won’t likely survive his incompetence.

    Knowing the mentality of this country in it’s current state, nascar will become the #1 sport in America.

    This is what happens when lawyers run organizations, ie: government.

  24. Anybody want to know the funniest part of all of it?…HAHA

    White people screaming about equality.

    The one race that has never had to fight for equality is literally screaming about equality in 2014 because the ONE thing they have been asked not to do it use the word n_____. Hilarious.

    Whats worse is they don’t care how derogatory the term is. They just want to be able to use it.

  25. Making NFL officials the “word police” is a cop-out by the franchise owners.

    If the NFL wants to change the culture of the Pro game, specifically the language used on the field and in the locker room…the owners need to address the subject with their coaches and players.

    What is next, audio replay to confirm that a player spoke a word that is on the NFL’s list of banned words?

    …can a coach throw the challenge flag?

    …will NFL officials be required to take a hearing test to insure they are qualified?

    …will hearing aids be required equipment for officials?

    NFL officials have enough to do, just calling the game, as it is. The idea of making the officials the “word police” of the NFL is a slippery slope that the NFL should avoid.

  26. I think it’s a great decision. There is absolutely no place in society for that word. Fact is, it’s not a cultural thing, it’s an ignorant thing, it’s ugly and hurtful.

    So I am glad the NFL is trying to remove that word from its culture.

    And by the way, this is like apples to hand grenades when comparing the name of the team in Washington to the use of the N bomb.

  27. I had the same thought as jarepine. What if one player calls another player a “Redskin”? Imagine the Cowboys are playing Washington and Dez Bryant calls Deangelo Hall a “Redskin”

    I imagine the NFL is still pretending this is not a racial slur.

  28. I appreciate what Mr. Wooten wants to accomplish and why, but he can’t legislate respect for others. Penalize one word, and another will take its place.

  29. Where will they keep the swear jar? And will the head official be responsible for all deposits? And can we please have more commercial breaks? We need to fill the time needed for the 60 year old head official having to jog 200 yards to do the job that anyone watching the tube can do in 10 seconds?

  30. Redskins is not a racial slur. Never has been never will. 99% of tribes consider it an honor. But the one group who’s led by a leftist Marxist who is not even of Indian decent considers is a slur. Look it up factoids

  31. So what’s next? Are they going to throw a flag for the B word? The MF Word? Are they going to roll out George Carlin’s list of 7 dirty words?

    Look, I am Black, I’m 37 and I hate the N word. I haven’t used it except in discussion of the word. I don’t allow my friends to use it around me without getting checked. When I was yound I made the same excuses that Metta World Peace did saying that, “We changed the meaning, it means this or that now, we don’t mean it the same way, we mean it differently than a White person means it,” or what have you. I was ignorant then. I now know that I was wrong, and you cannot simply change the meaning of a word because you feel like it. It is a bad and dirty word and I wish more people would stop using it. I don’t know if it can be legislated out of the game by officials because how will they know where it came from and who said it.

  32. i don’t disagree that ridding the game of racial slurs is a good thing. my only problem is that, like in the real world, the N word (which it seems most of you believe is the only racial slur in the world, based off these comments) is going to predominantly be used between one black and another. so is their going to be a penalty when a black man says “nice hit, my n***a” to one of his teammates after a big third down stop. or will it only be when richie incognito says “bleep you, you dirty n****r”??? and our we going to have to listen to the reporters interrogate the officials every time one of these penalties is called, so they can find out exactly what was said and by who, in order to crucify said player in the media for weeks and weeks?

  33. So you are going to ask White refs to call Black players for using the “N” word and have them judge intent??? This is going to go over real well…

  34. The league can’t even be sure Anthony Hargrove said “give me my money” after months of investigation, and they expect incompetent refs to get this right?

  35. “white people screaming about equality” FYI I really don’t believe this new rule only means that white people can’t use the N word, I do believe that no one will be allowed to use it, blacks and whites alike…

  36. You say the word, redskin, like its a racial slur aimed at oppressing a race of people, comparative to the n-word. And I disagree.
    The British were called, red coats, clearly an insult because they were really white. But I’m pretty ignorant so I should let the Gov’t decide for me.

  37. Trying to police this using the penalty system is a non-starter. With that being said here is an idea.

    If a player or players is/are violate the rule where usage of overly offensive language is used that player/players will be removed for a play. The teams must police the players.

    A one play penalty. You have to go to the sideline. If you do that more than once or cost the team a time out you can bet it will police itself.

    In Chip We Trust

  38. I think every player in the NBA should be offended by the name New York “Giants.” Why should the team from North Jersey make fun of tall people? Couldn’t we re-name them the Cellar Dwellers?

  39. “Big Brother” taking the next step! What happened to freedom of speech. If they do follow through with this it will affect nearly all the wide receivers and defensive backs on the teams rosters! Those who play those positions tend to have the biggest mouths.

  40. This was one of the DUMBEST suggestion ever like the REFS don’t have enough on their plates to worry about , It would be one thing if this word was being use in a NEGATIVE manner by players of a different race which resulted in alot of problems on the field that was detrimental to the game . But the word is use on the field by a group of the same RACE.

    And this could end up being more of a problem if a REF was to falsely throw a charge of this at a player he was having problems with.

  41. I am sure the NFL knows how much of this actually is going on during games. I am okay with this. Nothing has changed except for emphasized enforcement of an existing rule that really won’t be called but about 2-3 three times all of next season, if at all.

    The workplace conduct in the locker room needs to be handled by the Team and is not impacted by this decision. Again, existing laws and policy already exist.

    Hopefully the extra media attention this past year will help change the locker room culture without changing the game and its’ ferocity.

  42. The liberal progressives are out to ruin this game. And they will not stop until football is an after thought. Piece by piece they are destroying it, just like what they gave done to thus country

    duece5 says:

    Like BIG government? Like BIG NFL?

    this is what you get when the few make rules for the many!

    Progressiveness at it’s worst.

    I thought Obama was going to be the GREAT UNIFIER??!!!

    C’mon Goodell, this is the worst decision ever.

    Lay down some guidelines……maybe FINE the team, but not a penalty.

    If players need to begin “changing” the culture, it has to start slow.

    You would think that the trainwreck of Obamacare would have been the example of a drastic shift that causes so much peril to all. But hey…’s progressive, so it must be “right”??!!

  43. Call me skeptical. Ask Anthony Hargrove how well the league office did when it had 8 months to identify a player’s voice. Oh yeah, they got that wrong.

  44. Politicians, feminists, and politically correct people who don’t care one iota about football are ruining the game. Bullying in football, seriously?

  45. Don’t blame the league, they are in CYA mode now for what Jonathan Martin did/tried to do. If they don’t do stuff like this someone elses attorney is going to convince them they should sue for being harassed on the field.

    Just like concussions, ex-players are suing them and this is the result.

    People are the problem, not the league. They are just being proactive to whats coming.

  46. Let’s just make it a friendly game of two-hand touch where everyone is nice to each other & no one’s feelings ever gets hurt.

    At the end of the day Jonathan Martin won’t last b/c he’s not physically tough enough BUT I guarantee his lawyers will wind up suing the Dolphins & blaming them for irreparable psychological damage.

    Look…I’m not saying that he wasn’t treated badly & that Incognito isn’t a jerk & a terrible influence in the locker room BUT give me a break already…

    Did you know Ray Rice knocked his wife unconscious & dragged her body into an elevator so he wouldn’t get caught??? Isn’t that a LITTLE bit worse than being verbally abusive to another player???

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