Advocacy group demanding 15-yard penalty for use of the 'N' word in NFL games
The Fritz Pollard Alliance is not just some bleeding heart group throwing up a Change.org petition in their spare time. The Fritz Pollard Alliance has great sway with the NFL, and is the league's go-to nonprofit organization when significant racial issues arise. The group was greatly responsible for the 2003 Rooney Rule requiring teams to interview minority candidates for coaching and executive front office positions.
And now the Fritz Pollard Alliance would like to be responsible for a 15-yard penalty for NFL players using the 'N' word onfield. In a letter written by the Alliance, sent to NFL general counsel Jeff Pash and leaked to ProFootballTalk, an attorney for the Fritz Pollard Alliance makes their case. "In our view," attorney Cyrus Mehri writes in the letter, "if Game Day officials are empowered – and encouraged – to treat the use of racial epithets as grounds for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, future incidents of this nature are far less likely."
"[W]e believe that the League can address this concern by instructing Game Day officials to step up enforcement of Rule 12, Section 3, Article 1(b) of the League’s Playing Rules, which prohibits the use of ‘abusive, threatening, or insulting language or gestures to opponents, officials, teammates, or representatives of the League," the letter continues. "Directing the ‘N’ word towards others in a place of work is abusive, threatening, and insulting. We believe the League should authorize Game Day officials to use graduated discipline with warnings, 15 yard penalties and ejections as appropriate."
Right now, this is just a proposal and has not been considered. But the Fritz Pollard Alliance has a track record of getting things done with the NFL. In that sense, the 'N' word could be done in the NFL.