Group demands 15-yard penalty for use of the 'N' word

Advocacy group demanding 15-yard penalty for use of the 'N' word in NFL games

11/25/13 in NFL   |   JoeKukura   |   492 respect

Blog Photo - Group demands 15-yard penalty for use of the 'N' wordSome think the NFL should move onward from allowing players to use the 'N' word. In an effort that's been picking up steam since recent incidents involving Richie Incognito and a certain line judge who did not care for Trent Williams' level of respect or ethnicity, outside groups are lobbying the NFL to ban use of racial epithets in games. That sounds like a nearly impossible task -- until you consider a recent prosposal by the Fritz Pollard Alliance to enforce a 15-yard penalty any time an NFL player is heard using a racial epithet.

The Fritz Pollard Alliance is not just some bleeding heart group throwing up a 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."

Blog Photo - Group demands 15-yard penalty for use of the 'N' word"[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.
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11/27/13   |   kobe_lova   |   62524 respect


11/25/13   |   w_g_walters   |   223 respect

Is the quoted rule under unsportsmanlike conduct? I thought this was already covered?