After the Baltimore Ravens GM Ozzie Smith and Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper both recently said that the N-word should be banned from the field, Seahawk Richard Sherman fired back that he thinks it’s an “atrocious idea” to ban the term.
The NFL Competition Committee has been meeting in Florida since Friday to discuss what to do about players who use the slur. They could either continue as is, and ignore it; they could encourage officials to give a stern warning upon hearing the word; or they could potentially issue a penalty after an initial warning.
Peter King of Monday Morning Quarterback asked Sherman along with Titans cornerback Jason McCourty and free agent linebacker D’Qwell Jackson what they thought. Sherman was adamantly against policing language.
He said, “It’s almost racist, to me. It’s weird they’re targeting one specific word. Why wouldn’t all curse words be banned then? It’s in the locker room and on the field at all times. I hear it almost every series out there on the field.”
McCourty agreed, saying, “It’s a common word in so many players’ everyday lives. Among African-American players and people, it’s used among friends all the time. It seems like a bit much for the NFL to try to get rid of it. It’s a pretty common word in the locker room, like ‘man,’ ‘bro,’ ‘nigga.’ But once a white person says it, it’s a derogatory term.”
Jackson’s opinion differed a little. He thought it would be a good idea “for our game” but he thinks, “refs have a hard enough time officiating the game now. Now they’d be asked to police language?”
This has become a hot button issue across multiple sports. Chris Bosh has recently said he believes the NBA should ban the word, and all slurs, from the court. The NFL is planning on penalizing the use of homophobic slurs.