NFL Ponders New 'N-Word' Penalty

Owners will vote on how to penalize players for racial slurs

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 22, 2014 5:20 PM CST

(Newser) – Trash talking on an NFL field is one thing, but the N-word? No way, says John Wooten, head of a group that promotes minority hiring in pro football. He said he expects owners to approve a new rule punishing N-word users with a 15-yard penalty on first use and ejection if it's used again. "I will be totally shocked if the competition committee does not uphold us on what we're trying to do," he tells CBS Sports. "We want this word to be policed from the parking lot to the equipment room to the locker room."

The NFL declined to comment, but the league is looking into workplace-policy changes since the emergence of the Wells Report—which got a Miami Dolphins coach fired for permitting a "pattern of harassment," including racial slurs, against offensive lineman Jonathan Martin. Plus the NFL's desire for a clean image takes a hit every time players cuss around on-field mics, notes Tim Daniels at Bleacher Report. But will the N-word measure pass at the owner's meeting next month? Arizona Cardinals defensive lineman Darnell Dockett doesn't think so: "Good luck with this," he posted on Instagram. "And I wonder who came up with this anyway.... I use that C word though.. and anybody that know me know what it is."

In this Dec. 16, 2012 file photo, Miami Dolphins tackle Jonathan Martin (71) watches from the sidelines during the second half of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, in Miami.
In this Dec. 16, 2012 file photo, Miami Dolphins tackle Jonathan Martin (71) watches from the sidelines during the second half of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, in Miami.   (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)
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