The issue of players using the N-word has received attention recently because of separate events involving Washington Redskins OL Trent Williams and Miami Dolphins OL Richie Incognito.
Williams complained on Sunday that referee Roy Ellison cursed at him during the game. But Williams has been accused of dropping an F-bomb and N-bomb on Ellison to elicit the response. Williams denied doing so.
Incognito is being accused of directing the slur at Jonathan Martin, whom he’s being accused of bullying.
Fritz Pollard was the first African-American coach in the NFL, and the organization has been instrumental encouraging the league to adopt policies such as the Rooney Rule that encourages the hiring of minority candidates.
In response to the aforementioned incidents, the alliance’s director and chair sent a statement calling for the end of the N-word in the NFL. Here is the statement sent by Harry Carson and John Wooten.
“As former players (along with thousands of others) who have worked hard in different eras of the game to leave proud legacies for those who follow us, we are appalled and extremely disappointed to learn that the worst and most derogatory word ever spoken in our country is being used during games as well as casually in the locker room,” the statement reads, per ESPN.
“We are not asking players to point fingers or to report who said what when. We are simply asking that you respect the dignity of your teammates, fellow players, officials, coaches, fans, and yourselves. Most importantly, we ask that you respect every man who has worn the uniform but especially those men who helped make the National Football League what it is today and have made it possible for you to follow in their footsteps.”
The statement mentions former players who were called that name in a derogatory fashion.
Per ESPN, the Alliance has called for the league to eject and fine players who use the word on the field.