Posted February 28, 2014 12:21 am

NFL refs now word police, and it's a welcomed move

2 cents

Get the Q-Tips ready and crank up your hearing aids, NFL officials. Your job is going to require those ears to listen for racial slurs and throw a flag if you hear anything derogatory, especially the N-word.

It might sound stupid, but it has the potential to be something groundbreaking, a step in the right direction to stamp out one of the most hateful and derogatory terms from our language.

The NFL competition committee is set to discuss a rule that would attach penalties for using the N-word and other slurs.

It’s ridiculous that we’re still at a point where NFL officials will be asked to listen for that during the course of a game and flag or eject players who use it, but hey, that’s where we are.

I’m curious how this rule is going to work because most who use the term are black players talking to other black players, and not in a derogatory way.

Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Clark said as much this week when he told ESPN that legislating use of the N-word is impossible because of the context that it’s used in. It’s friends to friends, teammates talking to teammates.

To truly erase that word, it needs to be policed. While it might be just a casual and non-offensive term to some, it’s too powerful a word to keep around, friendly use or not.

The NFL is on the right path with this. If the league is serious and wants to eradicate one of the most hateful words ever used, then the wheel begins turning right here.