Clay Matthews says it’s tough to penalize on-field language

Clay Matthews his his doubts on this issue.

Tim Heitman/Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL would like to take the ‘N’ word off the playing field. A proposal from Fritz Pollard of the John Wooten Alliance has proposed a new rule that would make it a 15-yard penalty if a player is caught using the word during a game. A second use would lead to an ejection.

That’s an admirable goal, but will it be difficult to get this to happen?

Packers linebacker Clay Matthews thinks it will present a challenge.

"I think it’s used as a term of endearment between players, and I think it’s so much a part of pop culture and culture in general that’s it’s going to be very hard to eliminate that from the game," Matthews said on the Dan Patrick Show. "I think is more something that should come from the locker room, organization, and team leaders to remove it if they see fit."

Matthews also pointed to the heated nature of the sport as an additional challenge when it comes to enforcement.

"This is an emotional game played by tough men who obviously are a little crazy in doing so. I think this is going to be a very fine line as far as where this stops, when you start eliminating language from play … It’ll be very difficult."

He could be right, especially if it comes down to a referee interpreting what he thinks he may have head on the field. Sometimes words get confused when a lot of people are shouting, which is a common occurrence during an average game.

But still, the NFL’s aim is here is admirable and the right thing to do. Let’s see it the rule actually comes to fruition.

(H/T to Pro Football Talk for the story)