NFL proposes banning the N-word from the field

SEATTLE -- We hear the N-word from a lot of different places -- from popular music and motion pictures to stand-up comedy and sports.

But now the National Football League is considering banning players from saying the N-word during games. The penalties would go something like this: first offense gets a 15 yard penalty and a second offense gets a player ejected.

Many fans have come out in favor of the proposal, but several players have publicly stated they don't like the idea.

Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman recently said in an interview, "It's an atrocious idea... It's weird they're targeting one specific word. Why wouldn't all curse words be banned then?"

Wide receiver Doug Baldwin added that players often use the word as a term of endearment toward each other. He told the Tacoma News Tribune, "The only people who use the N-word on the football field are African-Americans, so the only people they are going at are African-Americans."

Dan Kalish, an attorney with HKM Employment Attorneys in Seattle, agrees with some of what both players say. While he supports banning the N-word from any workplace, he warns if the NFL bans that world but doesn't ban other racial or homophobic slurs, there could be problems.

"It kind of seems like the NFL is condoning those other slurs," he said.

He adds while some players may use the word in a joking manner, for those who don't it creates a problem. Kalish also said by not banning all slurs, the NFL could be opening themselves up to more, potential, liability and a lawsuit by another employee claiming a they work in a hostile environment.

The NFL could propose a ban later this month during the NFL Owners meetings in Florida.