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Richard Sherman: Banning N-word is an ‘atrocious idea’

Richard-Sherman-SeahawksThe NFL is working toward banning the use of racial slurs during games, particularly the N-word. The proposal has drawn mixed reaction from current players. On Monday, Richard Sherman told Sports Illustrated’s Peter King that he would be extremely opposed to the rule.

“It’s an atrocious idea,” Sherman said. “It’s almost racist, to me. It’s weird they’re targeting one specific word. Why wouldn’t all curse words be banned then?”

I don’t know about all curse words, but I agree with Sherman that only banning the N-word and not other racial slurs would not make sense. What I don’t agree with is his assertion that pronouncing the “-er” at the end of the word is what makes it racist. Sherman said that finishing the word with “-a” is not disrespectful when used among African-American players.

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

So calling someone a thug is the equivalent of using the N-word but pronouncing it with an “-a” on the end makes it a different word altogether? Come on now.

King also asked two other African-American for their opinion on the impending rule. Tennessee Titans cornerback Jason McCourty agreed with Sherman, saying the N-word is so common that it’s the equivalent of calling someone “bro” or “man.” Free agent linebacker D’Qwell Jackson disagreed.

“Ultimately, if the NFL can get it done, it’s great for our game. But I think refs have a hard enough time officiating the game now,” Jackson said. “Now they’d be asked to police language?”

Enforcing the rule would be the challenging part, and it’s looking like players could initially be given a warning for using it and then assessed a penalty if it happens a second time.

I’m white, so I obviously don’t understand both sides of the argument. I just don’t agree with the “-er” vs. “-a” argument. It’s the same word pronounced differently. I’ve heard plenty of Bostonians use the “-a” pronunciation in a derogatory manner. That said, banning it altogether would be incredibly difficult. Pittsburgh Steelers co-chairman Dan Rooney already tried that, and the team only respected his request for a day. It’s part of the culture that would be difficult to change.

H/T Pro Football Talk



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  • GOTcommonSENSE

    It’s hard to understand this if you are a white person that hasn’t grown up with black people!

    It’s entrenched in our generations greeting! Similiar to when women call each other bitch. Like when they call each other bitch, but in a playful or friendly manner!

    Or if white guys call each other c$cksucker or stop trying to Jew me down!

  • Jack Milliken

    Stop investing so much into a word and it will lose it’s power

  • johng_3

    The word has lost all meaning all together. Young people don’t even know the history behind the word.

  • Geezus Khrist

    This is what I’ve been trying to explain to numerous people, from several different races, and both genders. But, you got to also take the generation gap into consideration too, because there are some older black people that say, no way, you can’t use that word in any context.
    But you are dead on. And, to be honest, I don’t think that they will never fully understand the difference, unless they have been around, and grown up with certain black cultures. They just plain don’t get the -a, versus the -er.

  • Geezus Khrist

    I also used that same approach trying to give them an analogy with the white click. If someone outside their click, came up and used, sob, or c$cksucker, they would get busted in the eye. But still, some it didn’t do any good in trying to explain this to them. Oh well…

  • JM

    Remember that this begin because slaves were taken from the area of the Niger (ni-ger) River. Southerners couldn’t pronounce Ni-ger. Sherman is correct. “Er” as pronounced by whites and “a” as pronounced by blacks makes all the difference in the world. Take OUR word for it.

  • Geezus Khrist

    And also, if you are going to target one slur, in any form, then you have to ban all slurs, and their other forms, spellings and so forth to be fair. But, they are making a huge mistake. Because, as someone has already stated, they have a tough enough time, in trying to call the game, that this will blow up in their faces. Why? Because they are going to hear only parts of, and not all of the usuage of the word, and they are going to have so many of the officials not even understand the difference to start with. Bad idea, if you are going to target just one word.

  • Kevin

    If whitey cant use the “N” word then neither can blackey..otherwise it would be descimination

  • JM

    Kevin you are making my point. To you we are who YOU say we are.

  • GOTcommonSENSE

    You fail at word play! You just couldn’t hold it in, you had to slide blackey in there, huh? Showing your true colors!

    This is the example on why white people don’t understand! Blackey is offensive because of the context this “silly” juvenile just used it in. He thinks just because he added whitey in there he can automatically buffer the racist tone of blackey!

    You definetly who I think you are, and that’s a racist!

  • GOTcommonSENSE

    Exactly! He’s trying to be slick with his word play! But he fails!

  • Dick Hardagain

    I thought that’s what the whole “dawg” thing was about. So you could move away from calling each other..well…you know

  • Dick Hardagain

    Nice try goober Niger is of Latin origin , and means black.” It’s better to remain silent and be thought a fool , than to speak and remove all doubt”

  • Dick Hardagain

    Can we call them knee grows? …;-)~

  • Dick Hardagain

    Everyone is racist to some degree .It’s just the percentage of people that can admit it that is decreasing. It’s engrained in your everyday decision process. Where you shop… where you will allow yourself to be after dark…. where you choose to live, or send your kids to school. where you go to church. Why you crossed the street to avoid walking near someone. Fear is not necessarily a racist thing, but the decisions you make out of fear can be.

  • JM

    What is your point – it’s the Pope’s fault that southerners couldn’t pronounce Niger? Lookup Niger River.

  • Dick Hardagain

    WHOOOSH (sound of my point going over your head) My point was ….I’ll type it slowly for you….that you made up some BS about where slaves come from to explain where the N word came from ..Has nothing to do with the region and EVERYTHING to do with word origin…As far as mispronunciation goes, how do you know that they weren’t just mispronouncing negros?

  • Dick Hardagain

    Anyway , thanks for alerting me that I had to block Idiots with NO comprehensive skills from commenting directly to my mailbox……’-)~