Use of the N-Word, 15 Yard Penalty, Automatic First Down

Nothing gives more joy and inappropriate satisfaction than mainlining politically correct culture phenomena.  Point in case (#Dexsilya) the latest hot button topic (#OverusedPhraseAlert) in ‘Murica today is the use of the N-Word and other slurs on the professional football field.

From what I gather, the use of the N-Word on the field or in the locker room was not an issue until “Honorary Black Man” Richie Incognito gave his teammate a good ribbing.


John Wooten, head of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, and the czar of this hilarious crusade, has announced that he would like to see the N-Word scrubbed from NFL life.

John Wooten, head of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, told CBS Sports that he expects the league to make it an automatic 15-yard penalty if a player uses the N-Word on the field, and an automatic ejection for a player who does it twice.

“I will be totally shocked if the competition committee does not uphold us on what we’re trying to do,” Wooten said. “We want this word to be policed from the parking lot to the equipment room to the locker room. Secretaries, PR people, whoever, we want it eliminated completely and want it policed everywhere.”

The article went further and said that, “Wooten’s comments were strictly about the N-Word, but if the NFL is going to implement this rule, other racial slurs would presumably be included as well, along with slurs that are homophobic, sexist or religious in nature.”

Now, stop reading and re-read the quotes from the article and let this sink in.

magic-bullet-saleI have never played an organized sport that required a locker room, with the exception of Snipe Hunting and grammar school gym class, but I am qualified to speak on behalf of my “1 in 56” gender .  When you get a group of guys together to play some kind of sport, competition ensues.  When competition is in play, you get, along with it, comradery, brotherhood and unity against a common opponent.  You mix all of this in a Magic Bullet; you are going to hear language that is not always appropriate.  I don’t care if it is your church league softball team, the topics of conversation amongst men will eventually lead into farts, body parts, sex, playing like a girl, and the financial gains tax.  Vulgar language and profanity will vary from group to group, but men speak like men.  I am fully convinced that Pope Francis ribs his Vatican Soccer League teammate for contracting Athlete’s Foot on his coin purse!

Instead of hashing this out philosophically, I would like to throw some practical ideas and scenarios against the wall of the American Culture and see what sticks.

Michael Wilbon, commentator for ESPN and current black man, said that “… he has a big 730px-Michael_Wilbon_2011problem with the league penalizing the use of the N-Word. The NFL is considering use of that particular word in the field of play would result in a 15-yard personal foul. The reason Wilbon has a problem with the rule is because it is a league with no black owners and a white commissioner. He doesn’t like the idea that a bunch of middle-aged white men are telling black athletes that “YOU can’t use the word in the field of play or WE are going to penalize you.”

Matt Barnes, Clippers forward and current black man, took to Twitter and use the N-Word in one of his tweets.  “I love my teammates like family, but I’m DONE standing up for these ni**as! All this sh*t does is cost me money …”


Former NBA player and current black man, Charles Barkley, came to Barnes’ defense and said, “Matt Barnes, there is no apology needed,” Barkley said. “I’m a black man. I use the N-Word. I’m going to continue to use the N-Word with my black friends, with my white friends.”


Shaquille O’Neal, former NBA player and current black man, said that Barnes’ use of the N-Word had no negative connation to it.


If we are to take Michael Wilbon’s opinion seriously, then the only way to shield black players from the penalty flags of middle aged white referees is to have to have black refs whose sole responsibility is to comb the football field for N-Bombs from black players.  Then the obvious conclusion follows as such:

– White refs will word police white players.

– Samoan refs will word police Samoan players.

– Hispanic refs will word police Hispanic players.

– Gay refs will word police Gay Players.

When one player taunts another player for playing like a female dog, who will throw the 15 yarder for that?!

Matt Barnes is going to cost his favorite football team a hell of a lot of yards for suggesting that they use Y.G’s latest hit as a victory song for when they score a touchdown!  For those keeping score, that’s a 1,890 yard penalty by the time the song ends.

The heart of the matter (#ClichédPhraseAlert) is that this word policing will not stop at the NFL.  It will eventually bleed into other areas of American Culture.  50 Cent will be ejected from the music industry for using 2 taboo words in In Da Club (#FindItYourself).  Perez Hilton will be fined and jailed for calling Will.I.AM a forbidden word. (#SilverLining)

So what are you saying?  Are you for all this HATE SPEECH?  Yes, only because I am fiercely tired of the term hate speech because it is an indefinable term.  Feelings determine what is considered hate these days, so the foundation of hate speech is built upon shifting sand.


But no, I am not for any type of hurtful language but, unlike the easily offended, I am not demanding laws and/or policies be made based my menstrual-like mood shifts.

chris-rock-14On the other hand, Chris Rock said it was okay to use the N-Word if I was robbed at 4:35am, at a Toys R Us, buying my child a Transformers toy, on Christmas Eve, I have a standard month to use that word provided I have the proper documentation.  Or, if there is a Biggie or Dr. Dre on the radio, in the privacy of my car or home, Chris Rock says that it is more offensive to disgrace the song by not singing along word-for-word, passion-for-passion.  And I for one will not sully the works of Dr. Dre or Biggie to appease the gods at the Fritz Pollard Alliance or any oppressor for that matter!

I am not for degrading language but my belief in Freedom of Expression takes precedence over someone getting the emotional vapors.  The notion Freedom of Speech is both a glorious and nasty freedom.  On the one hand, you get moving speeches like, “I Have a Dream” and, on the other hand, you have “The Vagina Monologues.”  You have to allow for the good along with the asinine.


Salman Rushdie once said, “Free speech is the whole thing, the whole ball game. Salman Rushdie Free speech is life itself.  What is freedom of expression?  Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist.”  For those of you who do not want to click on yet another hyperlink, Salman Rushdie had a fatwā put on him for offending a certain group of Muslims.

Maybe we should follow Barkley’s and Wilbon’s example when they say that no one, particularly a white man, is going to determine when the N-Word can be used.  If a team wants to clean up their OWN culture, then coaches and teammates are the responsible agents of change.  Ref’s know a penalty when they see one, that’s why love throwing flags.  Coaches and teammates know what is appropriate and edifying for their team and image, so let them police their own.

On the OTHERHAND, if this word policing becomes an NFL standard, then this will make football even more fun to watch than it is right now.  If I am not mistaken, any penalty called must be thoroughly explained.  “Pass interference, number 37, 15 yard penalty, automatic first down.”  Refs cannot use the term N-Word (Or any other _-Word), but are to use the offensive word in its entirety.  Any censoring of the refs will be deemed a penalty in and of itself.  “Use of the word $*@@*!, number 68, 15 yard penalty, automatic first down.” <- Apparently that’s Richie Incognito’s number.


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