Richard Sherman says proposed NFL ban on N-word ‘almost racist’
Outspoken Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman says the idea of banning the N-word is “atrocious.”
“It’s almost racist, to me. Why wouldn’t all curse words be banned then?” Sherman told Sports Illustrated’s Peter King.
The NFL Competition Committee has been considering a 15-yard penalty against players who use discriminatory language on the field. The N-word was one of the words under discussion.
Sherman told King that not every instance of use of the N-word is racist, saying while use of the word ending in “-er” is racist, when African-Americans use the word ending in “-a” amongst themselves, it’s acceptable.
“It’s in the locker room and on the field at all times,” Sherman said. “I hear it almost every series out there on the field.”
Columnist and ESPN analyst Michael Wilbon said last week he doesn’t think it’s a good idea because of people’s complex relationship with the word.
“The use of this particular word, the objection to it, the embracing of it, the emotion wrapped around it, is more complex than any word that I can think of in the English language.”
The competition committee is reportedly also considering what other kinds of language might garner a 15-yard penalty, including homophobic slurs.
Any new rule might also include stepped up penalties for continued use of the word, including ejections.