File this one under “I told ya so.”
From the minute the league announced this asinine foray into feel-good social engineering, I told people to wait for someone to claim such a penalty would in-effect be a “blacks only” penalty – and thus, the equivalent of racial profiling, or akin to how drug laws in America unfairly lean on the poor and colored.
Well… here comes Marcus Thompson of the San Jose Mercury News, right on cue. Marcus… take it away…
There’s another layer, though, that makes this proposal hard to get behind, and even harder to explain. There’s something inherently wrong about a major corporation, which in many ways is a symbol of white America, imposing this kind of penalty.
Racial slurs are unacceptable, no matter who spews them. But most uses of the N-word are a cultural byproduct. In essence, the NFL would be penalizing players for cultural expressions, albeit a negative one. That ventures uncomfortably close to condemning a segment of players for who they are and where they are as people.
In fairness to Thompson, he’s right! No white guy is ever going to pop off N-bombs on the field, so the penalty is indeed SOA – Stupid On Arrival. He also makes the same point I did about how it would sit with fans when a 4th in goal stop is turned into a new set of downs, because Jeff Triplette *thought* he heard somebody say the n-word.
Alas, the NFL is so flush with cash, the $44 Million Man so unconcerned about actual issues facing the league, that this thing has actually made it to “First and Goal” with the rules committee.