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Richard Sherman: The NFL’s N-Word Ban is an “Atrocious Idea”

Sherman disagrees with idea of ban

Richard Sherman does not agree with the NFL's proposed ban on use of the N-word on the playing field, calling it an "atrocious idea" that is "almost racist."

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 Titans cornerback 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?"

Baltimore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome, who serves on the competition committee, recently told that the league has discussed other slurs potentially coming under the ban as well, including homophobic slurs.

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

"It's in the locker room and on the field at all times," Sherman told "I hear it almost every series out there on the field."

McCourty echoed the sentiments, saying the N-word is common for many players. "It's a common word in so many players' everyday lives," he told "Among African-American players and people, it's used among friends all the time. It seems like a bit much for the NFL to try to get rid of it. It's a pretty common word in the locker room."

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