The NFL brain wizards recently proposed penalizing players using racial slurs during the game. At the outset, this seems novel enough — racial slurs by anyone, even volleys between members of the same ethnicity, should not occur. But how will game officials accurately measure this, when every 45 seconds or so — every play — there’s stuff going on, especially across the line of scrimmage. Will the league install mikes in each helmet with a direct link to the referee?
They have a hard enough time making the right penalty calls of existing rules, trying to see a hold or an illegal block — now you are asking them to eavesdrop to catch someone using the N-word improperly?
However the problem I have with this is not cracking down on N-word usage, but the hypocrisy of it all:
You don’t like the N-word, but the Washington nickname, a racist slur against Native Americans that has been used for decades by the team, fans and media — a slur that the team owner Daniel Snyder swears up and down that he won’t get rid of, remains intact.
Therefore, until Commissioner Roger Goodall puts more pressure on Snyder to change not only his mind but his team nickname… until the other NFL owners, who are fellow billionaires in this exclusive old boy club, put more pressure on Snyder to do the right thing and get rid of this pox… until we see the Washington nickname permanently drop-kicked out of existence, the league need not worry about N-words at this time.
Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones. The NFL, with their latest proposal, is hurling boulders while sitting pretty in their nice, big glass house.
Charles Hallman welcomes reader responses to firstname.lastname@example.org