By JOHN RIOUX
In recent years, professional sports have instituted new policies to clean up the bad images they previously portrayed. For example, the NBA initiated a rule in which players had to dress professionally to attend their own games.
Now the NFL has proposed restrictions on offensive language use. I understand the NFL’s proposed rule. The league wants to rid an offensive word that is a racial slur from the field and locker rooms due to its disrespectful meaning.
This, however, is a middle ground in which the NFL improves its image without dealing with many other significant issues about race in society.
In recent years, there has been discussion of changing the Washington Redskins team name, yet no progress has been made. The NFL is worried about protecting its image, but apparently not at the expense of losing money.
The league sells Redskins’ merchandise, making millions of dollars a year without second thought.
I also wonder, if the NFL is serious about cleaning up the language used among players and coaches, why is the N-word the only one getting its own rule? There are many other offensive words that have racial undertones and are getting no attention from the league.
In today’s NFL culture, the N-word is common language amongst players. Will a referee throw a flag, if the word is used as a friendly gesture — or just as an insult?
I see the benefits this proposed NFL rule would have on the league. There are people who do not understand the harmful nature of this word. They do not understand its racial significance, and the removal of the word would bring these issues to the forefront of the news.
Even so, the NFL should step down. If the league only protects the N-word, it will make it seem other racially derogatory terms are not as important. Take more time and propose a rule that would rid of all demeaning words.