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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Banning the ‘N’-word shows the NFL’s self-serving ways

The NFL is looking into the possibility of eliminating the use of the “N”-word on the field by players for the 2014 season. The use of the word from players would result in a 15-yard penalty. The debate has stirred controversy as players and reporters have taken a stance on the matter and stood firm. Personally, I do not believe that the NFL is showing compassion nor sensitivity as it relates to the issue.
In August, Eagles Wide Receiver Riley Cooper was caught uttering the word in an offensive way towards a black security guard at a concert. Within a few days, the caucasian player addressed the media, taking accountability for his actions and expressing his deepest apologies. Last fall, reports surfaced that acts of hazing had been occurring within the Miami Dolphins organization. The victim, Tackle Jonathan Martin, an African-American, was targeted by Guard Richie Incognito, a caucasian. Incognito was been accused of verbally abusing Martin, referring to him as the “N”-word in a degrading manner. With the events that transpired over the last several months, it appears that the NFL is attempting to clean up its image, while not being wholeheartedly sensitive to this matter surrounding the controversial word.
The word has been a divisive term for many years. Originally, white people used it in a fashion that dehumanized black people dating back to the days of slavery. As years advanced, black people have reversed its meaning by converting it to a term of endearment. Now, it is implemented into pop culture as it is heard frequently in hip-hop music, stand-up routines, and movies. This word makes many people feel uneasy considering its origin. I feel that this issue should have been addressed years ago. It has been the center of controversy/debate for too long to be swept under the rug. If the NFL truly cared about this subject matter, they would have acted swiftly many years ago.
The NFL is a business and that the employer has the right to set the conduct that they expect their employees to adhere to. The players are expected to represent their teams in a positive way. Therefore, I agree with this protocol and support it 100 percent. However, I am questioning the league’s motive. They give off the impression that this potential new rule is nothing more than a public relations move. I mean, how can one take the position the league has on this matter seriously when they have a team named the “Redskins”? I certainly cannot.