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Richard Sherman calls NFL’s possible ban on n-word ‘atrocious’

NFL player Richard Sherman attends Club SI Swimsuit at LIV Nightclub hosted by Sports Illustrated at Fontainebleau Miami on February 19, 2014 in Miami Beach, Florida.
(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated)

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman has been enjoying life as a Super Bowl champion, but the oft outspoken NFL star has broken his recent silence and voiced his disagreement with the NFL’s attempt to ban the use of the n-word. According to a report by the New York Daily News on March 3, Sherman called the idea “atrocious.”

The NFL competition committee is discussing plans to penalize players 15 yards for using racial slurs and in the center of the conversation is the n-word. Sounds like a good idea, except the word has taken on a different connotation in the African-American community. Sherman told in an interview, that the possible ban is “almost racist” in itself because the focus is on that one particular word.

Sherman confirmed that using the n-word with the hard “-er” at the end is definitely racist, but the slang word ending with “-a” is a term of endearment in the African-American community and is the form of the word he commonly hears on the field and in the locker room.

In other words, Sherman feels African-American players stand to be penalized the most.

“It’s in the locker room and on the field at all times. I hear it almost every series out there on the field,” said Sherman.

Other players have discussed their stance against the ban since the non-racist use of the word is used in the everyday lives of some players. Players feel its unfair to ask referees to “police the language” on the field and determine when the word is being used negatively or as a term of endearment. Therefore penalizing a player would be subjective.

The players who are opposed do agree that getting rid of all offensive language would be great for the game.

The owners will address the issue when they meet in Orlando March 23-26.

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