This has long been a word that instantly sparks debate & controversy and that will never change. While some people may accept it as common use and a word of endearment, there will also always be people who still believe it is a very disrespectful word and will never allow it to become part of their vocabulary. Yesterday ESPN did a special about the use of this word in sports in light of some recent incidents that involved athletes. I personally don’t believe a network such as ESPN had the right to make themselves the stage for such a debate, because the use of this word goes much deeper than just being used in sports, but some good points were brought up. The NFL is attempting to make sure the word is abolished from the league by penalizing players who use it on the field, but is it realistic to enforce such a rule? Hit the jump for more.


The NFL next month is set to put into the rulebook a new penalty that would cost a team 15 yards anytime the referee’s hear a player use the N word on the field. But in a society today where most athletes across the league use the word so freely as a term of endearment, does the league have the right to tell people how to talk. And even more so how can they possibly enforce the rule fairly?

Steelers safety Ryan Clark was part of the discussion last night and made a great point. “I think it’s going to be really tough to legislate this rule, to find a way to penalize everyone who uses this word. And it’s not going to be white players using it toward black players. Most of the time you hear it, it’s black players using the word.” Most white players would not dare use the word period on or off the field. But like Clark said, most of the time it will be black players saying it to each other and will referee’s literally be throwing flags on every play since the use of the word is so common? This is not a rule that can fairly be enforced no matter how you look at it. There will be plenty of times where refs do not hear it so the penalties will be selective, which in itself is not fair.

Regardless of you’re opinion of the use of the word, the NFL does not have the right to silence the speech of it’s players. I understand what they are trying to do, but they are overstepping their boundary in this case. Players who do not like the word will simply not use it to begin with, but other guys who are comfortable with the word should not be told what they can and can not say on the field. Check out the videos below from the discussion yesterday which also included rapper Common and see how you feel about it.