Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin said that it was “absurd” for the NFL to penalize the use of the N-word on the field because it was a “term of endearment.”
“I think it’s absurd,” Baldwin told the News-Tribune on Monday. “I understand Roger Goodell and his safety council, or whoever they are, they’re trying to do this with good intentions. … Maybe. But, if you look at it, the only people who say the N-word on the football field are African-Americans. Whether whoever wants to agree with it or not, we have turned it kind of into a term of endearment.
“So, for the rule to specifically to hone in on one word, it’s kind of odd to me when there’s so many other things that are more offensive that have been said on the football field. That word, like you’ve heard many guys say, they’ve never heard it towards them in a disrespectful way (on the field). It’s more of a term of endearment. Never heard it from the opposite race, so the only people they are really going at are African-Americans.”
The NFL is considering penalizing the use of racial and anti-gay slurs next year, but those reports have gotten the league plenty of backlash. His teammate and fellow Stanford alum, Richard Sherman, also said the NFL should not penalize the N-word. Former NFL great Fred Dryer said the NFL has become “government football” in opposing the potential rule change. Baldwin said that if the NFL wanted to ban “offensive language, let’s ban all offensive language… not one particular word that is only used by one particular group.”
Baldwin made his comments at the premiere of the “Super Bowl XLVIII Champions Seattle Seahawks” movie in Seattle.