What is a word? I believe a word is a random arrangement of letters that we (humans) give an arbitrary impermanent meaning to.
If there isn’t malicious intent, should a word be censored? Even if the word is meant to hurt someone, should it be censored? I guess the question I’m asking is:
IS IT EVER PERMISSIBLE TO CENSOR
A SPOKEN WORD
The NFL thinks so.
Before the start of the 2014/2015 season, the NFL tried and failed to censor the ‘N’ word.
Their proposal of a 15-yard penalty for the Ndamkukong Suh of racial slurs was shut down before it mustered much momentum.
A referee’s job is to make sure the game is being played fair. It is more important for them to focus on what is happening in the game rather than what is being said amongst the players.
Plus, a penalty can already be called for, “The use of abusive, threatening, or insulting language or gestures to opponents, teammates, officials, or representatives of the League,” according to the NFL rule book.
There is no need to make a specific rule for racial slurs.
Jason Mcourty, a Titans cornerback, thought the proposal had little to no merit, “It’s used among friends all the time. It seems like a bit much for the NFL to try and get rid of it. It’s a pretty common word in the locker room, like ‘man’, ‘bro’, ‘nigga’,” he said in an article by Sports Illustrated’s, Peter King.
It’s used so often and nearly always without a malicious motive. It’s used in the music industry without much controversy too.
The ‘N’ word has become apart of people’s everyday vernacular. The racist intent of the word is dissipating… when black people say it. It’s worth noting McCourty is black and so is most of the NFL.
If Tom Brady or Peyton Manning said it, even in the exact same context with the exact same intent as a black guy, they would probably be publicly shamed, forced to apologize in front of the media and most likely face league sanctions.
Here’s a thought: Maybe the word should be banned? If white players can’t say it because of the history behind the word, then shouldn’t the rule apply to everyone? It’s not like the radical racism of the seventeenth through twentieth centuries suddenly becomes negligible because the person saying it is black.
The fact that one race can say a racial slur and others can’t isn’t a concern for the NFL. It is societies responsibility to hash out such issues.
Along with NFL wanting to ban the ‘N’ word, the FCC is looking into changing the team name for the Washington Redskins, according to Daniel Flynn of Breitbart.com.
But the FCC isn’t the lone wolf; Roger Goodell, NFL commissioner, has urged Daniel Synder, Redskins’ owner, to change the name as well.
Mascots and team names are never intended to be controversial, though. They generally reflect a trademark of the region or it’s history:
San Francisco 49ers: named after the gold rush in 1849.
Pittsburgh Steelers: named after the cities steel industry.
Washington D.C Redskins: named after the first Americans.
I see no problem with the name. Is it derogatory? Not anymore. The word has lost its derogatory meaning. The first thing I think of when I hear redskin is the football team. People don’t hesitate before the say redskin nor do they replace it with “the ‘R’ word” in similar fashion to “the ‘N’ word.”
A recent Sports Illustrated poll showed that 79% of NFL fans don’t think the name is offensive.
PC World (And I’m Not Referring To Personal Computers)
I’m talking about the over-the-top, in-our-face, inescapable politically correct world in which we’re now immersed. Our world is more censored than the clean version of an Eminem song.
For consistency, if nothing else, the NFL needs to stop being so politically correct. They have much bigger fish to fry than banning a word or changing a team name. I suggest prioritizing properly disciplining players according to their infractions and conducting coherent investigations.
Need I conjure the Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, Aldon Smith and Adam Jones incidents?
Unfortunately this will not happen. The NFL is a business and prioritizes maintaining their image. It’s ironic domestic abuse and felony gun charges aren’t seen as reputation tarnishing.