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Dave Ross

Getting the ‘N’ word out of the NFL

Maybe it's time to hire Maggie Smith, "Downton Abbey's" Lady Grantham, as a NFL referee. (Downton Abbey image)

The NFL’s competition committee is considering a new 15-yard penalty for use of racial slurs on the field.

The push is from the Fritz Pollard Alliance, [named after Frederick Douglass Pollard, the first African American coach in the NFL, which promotes diversity throughout the league, and which issued a statement last November, “From this day forward please choose to not use the “N” word. Period! Do not take the position that you are not bothered by the word.”

It’s clearly become an embarrassment to older African-Americans with vivid memories of the Jim Crow era that younger players routinely toss around a word that was once synonymous with lynching.

So the NFL is considering a 15-yard penalty for using it – even as a term of endearment.

It’s not exactly rooted in sensitivity.

It’s brutal and if the NFL is trying to protect us from bad language, why do they put live microphones in the players’ helmets?

When 300-pound guys crash into each other, they’re going to say what you would say if you get T-boned by a truck.

And by the way – 15 yards for a racial slur – does this mean the Washington Redskins start every play 15 yards in the hole?

So good luck NFL. Although, you should probably start by changing your music, maybe to some classical Mozart.

And hire Maggie Smith as the referee, who would say, “When you talk like that I’m tempted to ring for nanny and have you put to bed with no supper.”

Dave Ross on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM

  • Tune in to KIRO Radio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

About the Author

Dave Ross

Dave Ross hosts the Morning News on KIRO Radio weekdays from 5-9 a.m. Dave has won the national Edward R. Murrow Award for writing five times since he started at KIRO Radio in 1978.


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