The NFL’s Richard Sherman has spoken out about a proposed ban of the “N” word. Sherman said that penalizing teams 15 yards if players use the word during a game is “an atrocious idea” that is “almost racist.”

From ESPN:

The league’s competition committee is expected to discuss a rule where players would be penalized 15 yards for using racial slurs on the field. Sherman lashed out at the proposal in a recent interview with, which surveyed three black players (Sherman, Tennessee Titanscornerback Jason McCourty and free-agent linebacker D’Qwell Jackson) on the proposal. Two of the three were against it, with only Jackson supporting the ban.

“It’s an atrocious idea,” Sherman, the Seattle Seahawks‘ star cornerback, told the website. “It’s almost racist to me. It’s weird they’re targeting one specific word. Why wouldn’t all curse words be banned then?”

Sherman insisted that the N-word is not always used as a racial slur, especially among black players.

Read more at ESPN

Ozzie Newsome, who serves on the competition committee, as well as general manager for the Baltimore Ravens, told ESPN that the league had talked about other slurs coming under the ban as well, including those that might offend members of the LGBT community.

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