By John Boyle
The NFL is considering a controversial change this offseason, instituting a rule that would make it a 15-yard penalty if players use the N-word on the field. The proposed rule has been a big topic of debate, and in the past couple of days, two Seahawks have weighed in, saying they’re against such a rule.
Cornerback Richard Sherman told TheMMQB.com that he thought the proposed rule was “An atrocious idea. It’s almost racist, to me. It’s weird they’re targeting one specific word. Why wouldn’t all curse words be banned then?”
At Monday night’s premier of “Super Bowl XLIII Champions Seattle Seahawks” receiver Doug Baldwin agreed with Sherman on the topic.
“I think it’s absurd,” Baldwin said. “… I understand that they’re trying to do this with good intent, maybe. But if you really look at it, the only people who say the N-word on the football field are African-Americans. And whether you want to agree with it or not, we have kind of turned it into a term of endearment. So for the rule to specifically hone in on one word is kind of odd to me when there’s so many other things that are more offensive that have been said on the football field.
“You’ve heard many guys say they’ve never heard it towards them in a disrespectful way; it’s more as a term of endearment. Never heard it from an opposite race, so the only people that they’re really going at is African-Americans.”
Baldwin’s take is that if the NFL is trying to get offensive language out of the game, the league shouldn’t just focus on the N-word: “If you want to ban offensive language, let’s ban all offensive language, not just one particular word that’s only used by one particular group.”