Say What?! The Proposed NFL Ban

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It is easy for me to understand the authenticity of the idea when the NFL is reflected as a job. For example, I go to work every day, and I personally would feel incredibly uncomfortable if my coworkers used language deemed racial slurs. Truth be told, I’d end up blowing a gasket at such insensitive consideration in a workforce that I have to come to everyday and work my tail off just to feed my family. Granted, I’d speak to the offenders, sure, but I would inform management, supervisors, or whoever of the incident just so that I may have it documented that I have a problem with such language on the job. I do not identify as an “N-word”, and take great offense to someone identifying me as such, regardless of the color of his or her skin. This is not a history lesson, and it should go without saying that people have literally died over that word. That word, and the destructive idea behind that word, have directly influenced years of oppression, hatred, murder and rape. So, I certainly welcome the idea that the “N-word” be penalized. I would not want to work anywhere where on any given Sunday that word is proliferated while I am trying to focus on getting my tasks done and I am not even a millionaire! If I made millions of dollars at my job, and the entire world was literally watching my every move, I would be meticulously detailed about everything I do at work and what comes out of my mouth. If anything, I would curb behaviors that could potentially be offensive if only for common courtesy and out of respect for the unequivocal influence I have. Employees are the representatives of their place of employment. Therefore, employers expect employees to conduct themselves as constant professionals while at work, and rightfully so. This undoubtedly includes monitoring all actions, reactions and words.  Is this really too much to ask, especially at the price of making more money than 99% of the world?

The real issue is that it’s unfortunate such a ban or ruling could be injected into the game. In a perfect world, the proliferation of the “N-word” would not be, nor would things have happened to create such a defeating term of expression. As things happen, the world is not exactly “perfect”, whatever that means. When Sherman mentioned how he hears that word on almost every series, my heart sunk. I couldn’t believe it, but then again, I could. It’s a cultural word, used by millions and its impact differs based on who is using it and why. It’s disheartening that a ban needs to be instated to try and limit that word, which brings me to my final point. On one hand, the NFL should ban the “N-word”, and on the other hand, it should ban every racial slur. The “N-word” is not the only one in existence, and I am sure players say the “C-word”, “W-word” and the (insert letter and hyphen) word. Why then is only the “N-word” facing expulsion if it is the case? God only knows, but I am certain the Miami Dolphins offensive linemen Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin debacle enumerated and expedited the proposed ban. Let’s face it, it was ugly, and somehow threatened to offend or even lose consumers of the NFL product. As far-fetched it may seem, it was a messy situation, which could have ended up costing millions to rectify, and could have created copycat scenarios which could potentially cost more millions to rectify as a never-ending carousal. It was bad publicity, and if enough cases were to come out, it would undoubtedly threaten the credibility of the sport, at least from a business prospective. This is why the “N-word” ban is not only proposed to be in effect on the field, but also criminalized throughout the entire NFL. This means the word would not be uttered in facilities, staff faculties, training camps, meeting rooms, film rooms and all of the above, without consequential reprimanding. Truthfully, I believe the NFL is on the right track by starting to take use of offensive, insensitive language more seriously. I am all for banning racial slurs of every kind, but how far can a business reasonably go to ensure their employees simply cease using them while at work?

I am open to suggestions …

In the meantime, I’m going to go dream about Buffalo Bills safety Jairus Byrd in midnight green. While I’m at it, not only am I dreaming of Byrd, I am dreaming of Byrd at an affordable price.

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  • Ryan

    I just want to get this strait the NFL is going to ban the use of racial slurs but they back the team name of Redskins, a racial slur, and you who would take such offense to demeaning language being used in the work place don’t bring this up once. Sounds like you have a stupid agenda just like all the white owners and white management of the NFL. Until they admit there is a problem with that teams name this all seems a little hypocritical, for that matter so do you. Sorry dude not buying it.

  • Daniel J. Reed

    Mr. Ryan, I apologize for the somewhat tardy response! I was completely unaware of your comment. You made a couple interesting and obvious points.

    The name of Washington’s football team ultimately may or may not be changed. It is certainly possible that policing racial slurs will bring awareness to team designations that may itself be racist. It may even bring awareness to the sexism and stigmas that exists within the NFL.

    As a proud African-American, and simply as a human being, I am never delighted if
    anyone uses a racial slur, including the “n-word”. I have been called it before, by my own race and others ethnicities desperately trying to be “hip”. Every time I immediately expressed displeasure. I am bias against that word, and for obvious reasons, disagree with its usage. I do not use it in my personal life, and completely disagree with its usage at a place of employment, including professional sports – hypocritical it may seem.

    Nonetheless, I do not see anything relatable between what makes me who I am and what you described as “the white owners and management of the NFL”, but I respect that you do. I do not know of these people you are knowledgeable of, so I cannot fully speak on them. (Can you name me a couple, and the similarities you see?) But, I will say this, I can trace my heritage back to slavery, and never viewed my dislike of the “n-word” as a “stupid agenda” but again, I respect that you do. (If you may, please elaborate on the stupidity of said agenda.)

    Undoubtedly, you understand that the entire point of writing is to share ideas and provoke conversation. Thank you for sharing yours. Lastly – dude (not a word I generally address men by so it may not sound as authentic on me as when you used it) – I wish that you would not be sorry for not “buying it”, because I am not selling anything! Had I been, I might have been slighted for not closing the deal! Thanks again – dude (Maybe it sounds cooler the second time around?).

    Read on, and please keep them coming! Awesome comment, Mr. Ryan! It is always nice conversing with passionate and thorough sports fans such as you, if only for the 4 or 5 minutes it took to write this!

  • Ryan

    John Mara and Dan Rooney are a couple owners backing the ban. They are both old white men. I do not see how they could possibly be “in touch” with the situation on field. It just really feels to me like a pr move. I understand your side of the argument. You have a deep seeded hatred of the word. My problem is the focus of one word that black men say, cause let’s be honest white guys aren’t throwing the n word around on the field, in more as a term of endearment. When used in that way it does not carry the stigma of being a word used to demean and force hate on another human being. I totally understand and respect the weight you feel is carried with the word, it can definitely be as horrible of a word that can ever be said. But my main problem is that the focus by the nfl is on one word. In a league dominantly filled with black men (I don’t like to use African American because I don’t know if they are all from Africa) the white owners and white commissioner want to ban a word used by black men to make the league more “professional”. They are not discussing or at least communicating to the public that they want to ban all racial slurs or obscene language. They are not saying with this ban that they are going to force a name change with the DC football team. They are standing on one leg and saying look black America us white guys like black people. That seams fake and insincere to me. I do not agree with this rule not for the point it’s trying to make but because of how it says other fowl language and fowl team names are OK just not this one. Thank you for communicating with me and sharing your thoughts on this idea I truly hop re I didn’t offend you by calling you “dude” I ment no disrespect. Please share your thoughts with me on my response to you and I hope I covered the items you wanted to discuss.

  • Ryan

    One more thing there are only four black owners in the nfl. There is one who is a minority owner he is with the vikings the other three are only minority partners one is with the texans and Serena And Venus Williams are also minority partners with the Dolphins. There are 0 majority black owners in the nfl. That is the main reason I called them white owners of the nfl. It is because they ALL are. Thought this was a good piece of information backing my claim.

  • Ryan

    I’m sorry I just reread what you wrote and realized you wanted me to show you the connection between you and the owners. The only connection I see is you both want the word gone for personal reasons. While they want it gone to make themselves look good and you want it gone because it is offensive to you. So obviously you two are very far apart when it really comes down to why with that said both sides, you and the owners, have an agenda. And both sides stand to profit, you personally them financially, from the word ban. That is the connection I see. Hope it answers your question

  • Daniel Reed

    If I may say, excuse me for savoring such conversation. I enjoy football, yes, and I absolutely adore the Philadelphia Eagles, so naturally I enjoy writing about them and/or issues that
    pertain to the sport. However, meaningful exchanging of intellect when appropriate is definitely a perk! So, thank you for the “mental food”, although that sounds somewhat like I am a telekinetic vampire.

    I would like to establish this as a non-argumentative
    discussion. I do not view this as an argument yet merely as a communication, as you called it. You’ve asked for my thoughts on your response, so here goes.

    Respectfully, it seems as if you were reaching to an extent. Specifically regarding the connection you see between me and “the white owners and management of the NFL”. I am unsure as to whether the connection you see is actually substantial to compare us, but then again it only matters how you see it, not me. Regarding profiting for the banning of racial slurs, I personally believe it’ll benefit the world as a whole, but then again, I am not the sharpest knife in the woodshed. Or is it the sharpest knife in the drawer? Whatever … but see what I mean? That was entirely stupid.

    Which leads me to the other piece of your response. You believe our – “the white owners and management of the NFL” –
    agenda is “stupid”. Regarding that, I do not feel you answered my previous question as to why you feel my displeasure of the word is idiotic. Or perhaps you were simply passionately writing when you originally said it and I am looking too far into that comment right now? Oh, I actually did not have the facts in front of me regarding ownership of NFL teams; however, I assumed that the majority
    are in fact white. Regardless, thank you for the clarification on that.

    Aside from that, I unfortunately do not know John Mara or Dan Rooney (I only say unfortunately because it might be
    awesome having rich friends for once!), so I cannot say why they would give a hoot about racial slur banning/penalizing. They may have a biracial child, or be in an interracial relationship. They may be in it for the glory of boasting in a couple years, “Yeah, we were one of the first to back the proposed ban.” Or they may just dislike crude racial-based language in general. There are so many motives and reasons, so who can really know? It very well may be public relations and politicking.

    It’s incredibly sickening however, I actually know whites, Latinos, and even Asians who absolutely love to use the “n-word” as a term of endearment, if it can even be called such. I’m almost positive
    this does transfer over to the field and NFL, and it may or may not be viewed as a problem depending on who is using it – just like, it is in “everyday life”. For an example, some circle of black friends do not mind their white friends calling them the “n-word”, if the white friend is “cool enough”, or accepted by the circle. Freaky, I know. I know I’m reaching when I say this, but I don’t think there would be a big issue if Polamalu or Urlacher said it on the field vs. Tony Romo or lesser popular non-black players.

    Speaking of the color black, I respect your reasoning to re-frame from referring all blacks to African-American. In many ways, you have a connection with many other people on that stance.
    However, I proudly identify as an African-American because my origin is traced to Africa. Then again, everyone’s is technically. So does that make every American an African-American? On the other hand, if I am an African-American does that make a white person European-American? I mean we have Native-Americans and when
    they are designated a color for their race, it is hailed as racist. Their skin is not red, as the redskin slur indicates and my skin certainly is not black.

    Nonetheless, my point is I definitely understand your choice because the whole race thing can and always will get messy,
    just like it is now in the NFL. I would assume that the ban will eventually grow to include other or every racially insensitive word, but again that will be messy as well. I admit that I assume that because that would only make sense, if not to no one else but to me. I actually do not hate the word, however it makes me very unnerved and I personally feel disrespected. My great-great
    grandfather, who was born into slavery and forced to be a breeder (copulate and reproduce more slaves similar to how a farmer would breed livestock), fought to abolish slavery and the social/moral dysfunctions produced by it. If no one understands, appreciates or get that, I sleep comfortably knowing that I do.

    Lastly, I did not feel offended by the “dude comment”. Like you, I am human and can be somewhat difficult, and maybe that is
    putting it politely. I have certain guidelines to abide by while writing about the Eagles, including refraining from foul or abusive language. Luckily, sarcasm is not one of them! I promise that it was a playful sarcasm, all in good fun, and I deeply respect you for apologizing just in case. I’m not sure how you feel about my articles but you caught my attention, and I respect your opinion even more. (I now have a favorite commenter!) This is an article-sized
    response in itself, and quite long winded, so I apologize. I promise in the future if we ever talk again, it’ll be much shorter.

    And please, keep the communication going if you see fit! You’ve spoken like a true gentlemen, Ryan, and I look forward
    to hearing your response this time! Good day.

  • Daniel Reed

    Oh, and just so this is ended on a lighter note, what is your opinion on the career of Nick Foles? Is he the second coming of Brady, Peyton, Brees, or Kolb?

  • Ryan

    I totally agree that this is a great discussion not an argument. I have to admit that me placing you in the same circle as the nfl owners feels like a stretch after having this conversation with you. I have truly enjoyed it. You make strong points in you argument that are hard to deny. This may surprise you but I would be for the ban if they publicly went after all racial slurs and forced the washington football team to change their name. You have shared so of your background with me that has gone into your belief that the ban should happen let me share some of mine. I grew up in a small town in nc with my grandparents who owned a small furniture shop. We consistently would have to spend our weekends cleaning the words n-word lovers off our house because my grandfather believed in equality. He would let black men and women work for him and we even had one black man live with us when he hit hard times. He was a close and dear family friend. I can remember vividly the pain in his and my grandfather’s eyes every time this would happen. I as a result am for equal rights for all. It does not matter to me what you are or who you love. This ban just feels very fake to me. Mr Rooney seams like a genuine man but I don’t believe in goddells intentions. The whole dc football team name with him backing it publicly and then saying that we need to ban ONE word not all of them. It hypocritical period. I am very happy to be your favorite commenter and will now look forward to your articles. To answer your last question about Foles. I really so believe in this system he will be the next great QB I am not worried about this past year being a fluke I am a believer. O and even though some crazy people still try to argue it you’re right we all come from Africa. Can’t wait for the next one this has been great.