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NFL likely to adopt penalty for use of racial slur on the field

A racial slur on an NFL field could soon bring a penalty.

The NFL could soon adopt a new rule that will penalize players for using the racial slur known as the "N-word" on the field. ESPN reported on Feb. 22, 2014, that John Wooten, head of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, which monitors diversity in the NFL, expects the new rule to be instituted into the league.

Wooten believes that next month at the NFL owner's meeting, the league's competition committee will bring the rule into existence. If it is, teams would be penalized 15 yards for the use of the "N-word" on the field.

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"We did talk about it, I'm sure that you saw near the end of the year that Fritz Pollard (Alliance) came out very strong with the message that the league needs to do something about the language on the field," said Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome, who is on the league's competition committee. "So we did discuss over the last three days."

Newsome believes that other sluts, such as homophobic slurs, could also be put into the new rule/penalty.

Wooten went on to say that the proposal would be for a 15-yard penalty for players when they use the "N-word" the first time and an ejection for a second violation.

"I will be totally shocked if the competition committee does not uphold us on what we're trying to do," Wooten said, according to "We want this word to be policed from the parking lot to the equipment room to the locker room.

"Secretaries, PR people, whoever, we want it eliminated completely and want it policed everywhere."

The rule has to be agreed upon by the committee before it can be presented to the owners and then voted upon. The NFL competition committee is meeting for a number of days in Florida next week and the league owner meetings are in March.

Wooten says that the microphones in place all over the field will help determine when players violate the rule by using the slur. If there is a question to whether it was used or by which player, verification options will be present.

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