Either the NFL is becoming a more respectful place, or players just want to keep their money in their pockets.
According to Mark Maske of the Washington Post, the number of on-field incidents involving racial slurs and abusive language dropped sharply this season.
The league enacted rules to punish players who used slurs during games, and told the Fritz Pollard Alliance that there were only six incidents this year, down from 29 during the 2013 season.
“I think it says very clearly that the players understand the gravity of what we’re trying to do,” said John Wooten, the chairman of the Fritz Pollard Alliance. “I think the clubs and everyone else are to be congratulated. The key thing here is we’re talking about respect. It’s about respect and dignity. Ideally it should be zero. But it’s headed in the right direction.”
While the rule created a gray area that many thought officials would struggle with, the numbers indicate that the rule’s working. It’s unclear where Colin Kaepernick’s penalty falls on their scale, since he was penalized for it on the field but later had his fine cut in half.