NFL considering in-game penalties for racial and anti-gay slurs

The NFL competition committee will next month consider whether to introduce penalties during games when players use homophobic or racist language on the field

NFL considering in-game penalties for racial and anti-gay slurs
24 February 2014

The US National Football League (NFL) competition committee will consider whether to introduce penalties for players who use homophobic language during games in a first of its kind suggestion for the sporting code.

Baltimore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome confirmed to ESPN yesterday that the banning of on-field homophobic language was being considered alongside racial abuse and that it had been discussed by the committee in the last three days.

‘We had some officials in our meeting that [are] actually out there on the field and hear the language,’ Newsome said, ‘We’ll be able to put all that together and if there’s a need to we will present something to our owners in Orlando.’

‘With any rule that we put into play we have to look at it from A to Z and find out any unintended consequences as much as the consequences. So, as it was stated in our meeting, there are mics everywhere, so if something has been said it’s probably going to be captured somewhere. So there will be an opportunity to get it verified if we have to.’

Newsome’s comments were in response to diversity-in-NFL group the Fritz Pollard Alliance calling for players to be given 15-yard penalties if they use a racial slur during a game – with a second offense resulting in them being ejected from the game altogether.

The Fritz Pollard Alliance is named after the first African American to coach a professional gridiron team in 1921, and the organization has recently stepped up its campaign to have players stop using the N-word.

Fritz Pollard Alliance head John Wooten told CBS Sports that he expected the competition committee to act on the issue and that team owners would follow suit.

‘I will be totally shocked if the competition committee does not uphold us on what we’re trying to do,’ Wooten told CBS.

‘We want this word to be policed from the parking lot to the equipment room to the locker room,’ Wooten said of the N-word.

The competition committee will meet in Florida next week to consider what proposals they take to team owners at NFL league meetings in March.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Gay couple originally registered as 'father' and 'son' to marry

Bill Novak adopted his partner Norman MacArthur as a way they could ensure legal rights
No thumbnail available

Zambia gay couple tortured, jailed without food and water

Rights groups slam Zambia for jailing gay couple based on rumours and forcing them to undergo anal probe tests
No thumbnail available

True Blood finally gives Ryan Kwanten and Alexander Skarsgard chance to share scene - and it's very gay

Kwanten: 'We’d been pondering the thought, “What if we were ever put in a scene where it was just the two of us? What would happen?"'
No thumbnail available

Using gay slur, Italian footballer says he would not want to play with gays

Antonio Cassano hopes there are no 'queers' on his national team
No thumbnail available

NBA player Jason Collins gets high-profile Twitter support after coming out as gay

Gets kudos from Bill Clinton, Martina Navratilova, Kobe Bryant and more
No thumbnail available

Most Americans wrongly believe it’s already illegal to fire someone for being gay

A new poll has found that a large majority of Americans wrongly believe that it is already illegal to fire someone over their sexuality under federal law despite the Employment Non-Discrimination Act stalling in Congress
No thumbnail available

Apple reveals video to celebrate Pride

CEO Tim Cook is in the video showing Apple employees showing their Pride in San Francisco
No thumbnail available

Brighton goes to the bears this weekend

Fuzzies and their lovers head to the UK’s gay mecca on the coast for a weekend of boogies in the disco and picnics in the park
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

GSN and G-A-Y call for marriage petition support

Gay Star News and top London nightclub G-A-Y hosting special free night to boost signatures for same-sex marriage equality in Britain