In yet another clumsily misguided attempt to exercise control over the players, the NFL is considering making the saying the slur, “nigger” on the field punishable by a 15-yard penalty. Well, isn’t that sweet? A league run by a pompous ass of a commissioner who cashed $44 million in checks last year given to him by 32 billionaires and millionaires and not a dark face among any of them are going to impose their morality upon the 70 percent Black young urban men who make up their teams.
The NFL is in full reactionary mode in the aftermath of the investigation into the sordid and ugly racial harassment suffered by Jonathan Martin by the crude Richie Incognito and other Miami Dolphins players. Trying to impose a ban on a troublesome word won’t solve the problem of bullying in the locker room, but Roger Goodell isn’t one of the world’s most thoughtful CEO’s. His approach is that of a hammer with nails all around him.
So if I’m a NFL player and I can’t say “nigger” but I can say “REDSKINS! REDSKINS! REDSKINS!” that’s all good with Goodell? Smells like a double standard to me.
ESPN’s Outside the Lines recently discussed the usage of “nigger” in popular sports and how the word is considered radically differently by generations with some seeing it as nothing but a vile and vicious insult while a younger generation that grew up dancing to it in rap music and hip-hop culture embrace it as a term of affection.
I didn’t get a lot out of the conversation except being disappointed in Michael Wilbon, a well-respected sports journalist, shrugging off the slur as something he’s okay with because he uses the word when he’s kickin’ it with the fellas. The rationalization that it’s time to fight if a White guy asks, “Are you my nigga?” but it’s all good when a Black guy does it is garbage.
There is no racial slur equal to being called a “nigger.” That is always the ultimate trump card a White person can throw on the table to insult a Black person. What’s the equivalent retort? White trash? Cracker? Republican?
Why someone thinks it is empowering to refer to themselves or others by a word that has always been to cast doubt on the very humanity of Blacks is a bafflement to me. I’m sure there’s an explanation of how this works, but I’ve never heard a good one.
I neither have nor want friends that feel comfortable in calling me a nigger and misspelling it as “nigga” is bullshit that doesn’t fly with me either. Still, you can’t regulate and legislate “nigger” out of existence. The NAACP staged a mock burial of the epithet several years ago, but that failed to kill it off. How could it? Only time, education and a greater sophistication of how unnecessary and stigmatizing it is to keep pumping life into what should be a dead word will drive the stake through its rancid heart.
Chris Murray, the Philadelphia-based sports journalist added his disdain for using “nigger” as a term among friends in his Facebook news feed with some in agreement and a few in vehement disagreement with one guy making a point of letting everyone know it too.
Everybody in this thread is a nigger. I said it!!!
I made a common mistake. I attempted to being reasonable with an unreasonable man. I said, “Please brother, speak FOR yourself ABOUT yourself. If you want to wear that tag, wear if for yourself, but don’t try to hang it around my neck.”
“I don’t know any niggers, don’t hang with any niggers and don’t call anyone a nigger.”
Jeff Winbush oh yea…you a nigger too. And you know quite a few.
I’m a proud nigga. Gonna be one until I die. And Jeff Winbush do your homework before you try to insult me. Nigga!!!!
No hood talk, not tryin to be tuff. Just truth. Ya know, it ain’t bad bein a nigga. I’m just not a white mans nigger! Get the.point!
Nigga nigga nigga nigga.
Trying to insult someone you don’t know with an ignorant word is really kind of ignorant. It’s a strong indicator you have to resort to dumb words because you don’t know enough smart ones. I’m a proud Black man and nobody’s nigger or “nigga” which is just a cowardly way of trying to remix a vile and foolish word.
You can’t polish a turd. Trying to reclaim “nigger” as a term of endearment is a fool’s errand and an epic FAIL. You’re saying “we” never had a problem with the word when you mean “I” never had a problem with the word.
I DO have a problem with the word and the word has gone away from my vocabulary. I don’t associate myself with an ignorant word that has only been used to degrade and diminish the humanity of Black people.
For the sake of accuracy, there’s no such thing as a “nigga.” That’s a hip bastardization of a troublesome word. Either you believe in the slur or you don’t. All in or all out. I’m out.
The NFL should be too. Out of trying to be the P.C. police imposing the ethical standards of White owners on Black players. They should trust in the ability of the players themselves to police their own language and each other. If the NFL really finds the N-word so offensive they should stop treating the players like that’s what they are.