Report: NFL Considering Penalizing Players 15 Yards for Racial, Anti-Gay Slurs

Report: NFL Considering Penalizing Players 15 Yards for Racial, Anti-Gay Slurs

The NFL may penalize players 15 yards for racial and homophobic slurs and eject them from the game after a second offense. 

John Wooten, the head of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, a group that monitors diversity, told ESPN that he “expects the league to institute a rule where players would be penalized 15 yards for using the N-word on the field.” Baltimore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome “said the committee talked about other slurs coming under any possible new rule, including homophobic slurs.”

“I will be totally shocked if the competition committee does not uphold us on what we’re trying to do,” Wooten told “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.”

Wooten expects the competition committee “will officially agree to the rule next month before presenting it to the owners” in March during NFL meetings. Newsome said the committee and the owners have to also examine any unintended consequences that could come from the new rule.  

The deliberations come after numerous incidents involving the “N-word” last year, the Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin incidents, and Michael Sam’s recent admission that he is gay. 

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