Diversity Group to NFL: Fine, Eject Players Who Use 'N-Word'
On Thursday, a prominent group that promotes "diversity and job equality" in the NFL urged players to stop using the "N-word" and reportedly "called on the league to punish players who use the racial slur on the field through immediate ejections and subsequent fines."
According to ESPN, the Fritz Pollard Alliance "released a statement saying a number of game-day officials commonly have heard players use the N-word during games."
"As former players (along with thousands of others) who have worked hard in different eras of the game to leave proud legacies for those who follow us, we are appalled and extremely disappointed to learn that the worst and most derogatory word ever spoken in our country is being used during games as well as casually in the locker room," the statement reads. "We are not asking players to point fingers or to report who said what when. We are simply asking that you respect the dignity of your teammates, fellow players, officials, coaches, fans, and yourselves.
"Most importantly, we ask that you respect every man who has worn the uniform but especially those men who helped make the National Football League what it is today and have made it possible for you to follow in their footsteps."
The group said "refusing to use the N-word will show that respect."
The statement comes a week after black athletes like Matt Barnes and commentators such as former NBA great Charles Barkley and Mike Wilbon said they would continue using the "N-word" and it was not up to White America to dictate to blacks what words they can use. Miami Dolphins lineman Richie Incognito has come under fire for leaving voicemails in which he used the "N-word" to teammate Jonathan Martin, who is bi-racial.