Seahawks' Baldwin: N-word is a term of endearment
His teammate and Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin agrees with him.
"I think it's absurd," Baldwin told the Tacoma News-Tribune. "I understand Roger Goodell and his safety council, or whoever they are, they're trying to do this with good intentions. ... Maybe. But, if you look at it, the only people who say the N-word on the football field are African-Americans. Whether whoever wants to agree with it or not, we have turned it kind of into a term of endearment."
The proposed rule was brought to the forefront by John Wooten, the head of the Fritz Pollard Institute, which monitors diversity in the NFL. Regardless, Baldwin is still hesitant.
"It's kind of odd to me when there's so many other things that are more offensive that have been said on the football field," Baldwin said. "That word, like you've heard many guys say, they've never heard it towards them in a disrespectful way (on the field). It's more of a term of endearment. Never heard it from the opposite race, so the only people they are really going at are African-Americans."
Wooten probably wouldn't deny that fact.
"While we understand and respect that different generations have different means of communicating, we cannot condone on any level the use of the 'N' word," Wooten said in a statement released by the Fritz Pollard Alliance in late 2013. Wooten, in case you don't remember, played nine seasons in the NFL during the 1960s.
"We understand the history of the game and especially the significance of the re-integration of the National Football League in 1946 when many who opposed blacks playing in the league used the same racial epithets from the stands. Men like Kenny Washington, Woody Strode, Bill Willis, and Marion Motley bravely withstood the indignity of the 'N' word during a time when black men were beaten and even hung simply because of the color of their skin.
"Indeed, the 'N' word was the last word that countless blacks across the country -- in large cities and small towns -- heard before being killed in racist attacks. To use it so loosely now is a disgrace."
Baldwin, however, raises another point.
"If you want to ban offensive language, let's ban all offensive language. Not one particular word that is only used by one particular group," he said.
(H/T to Larry Brown Sports for the story)