It s one of the most polarizing debates of the NFL offseason: should the league ban and penalize the N-word?
One of the NFL s most outspoken players, Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman has weighed in on the issue.
It s an atrocious idea, Sherman told MMQB.com s Peter King. It s almost racist, to me. It s weird they re targeting one specific word. Why wouldn t all curse words be banned then?
According to King, Sherman also emphasized that the word could be used in different ways and that the intent of its use changes from case to case.
It s in the locker room and on the field at all times, Sherman said. I hear it almost every series out there on the field.
Sherman s viewpoint is a common one, but there are also those who think eliminating the word would be a positive step for the league.
Ultimately, if the NFL can get it done, it s great for our game, free agent linebacker D Qwell Jackson told King. But I think refs have a hard enough time officiating the game now. Now they d be asked to police language?
Both Sherman and Jackson have valid points. By singling out one word, the NFL would be prompting criticism that it is unfairly targeting a small group of people. There also have been reports, however, that homophobic slurs are also under consideration to be banned by the Competition Committee.
Until the league discusses the proposal, it s speculative to consider whether the NFL would be doing an unjust service to its players. With the different opinions and passionate debate around the issue, it s one worth watching.