Just days after reports surfaced the NFL is looking into penalizing players for use of the N-word during games, the same topic has already reached the NBA. Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh is already on board with the idea and even wants it taken a step further to apply to homophobic slurs and all types of derogatory comments. Frankly, that’s a fantastic idea.
When asked by a local radio reporter about it, Bosh called it “a very tough situation” and said if one type of slur is penalized, then all slurs must be put into the same category. So that would apply mostly to racial and homophobic slurs while leaving general trash talk intact, which is important to a lot of players and fans. See: Kevin Garnett for the player and Spike Lee for the fan. In other words, traditional mocks like “take that” or “you suck” or “my grandma plays better defense than you” would still be acceptable.
On an old-school philosophical note, it would be great to eliminate these types of comments from coming out of the mouths of professional athletes, who are indeed role models to our youth, whether they like it or not. Here’s looking at you, Charles Barkley.
When a young Kobe Bryant fan hears the Black Mamba call an NBA referee by an extremely derogatory homophobic slur, that youngster then thinks it’s not only okay for him to use the same slur, but that it’s cool to do so. On the contrary, it ain’t cool.
Of course, this has all stemmed from the recent emergence of openly-gay players in both the NBA and NFL with Jason Collins finally playing in a game after announcing his sexual orientation and Michael Sam set to be drafted in May. Add in the N-word rule being pondered by the NFL, and all sorts of opinions are bound to come out.
Credit Bosh for realizing the extent of a potential change like this and pointing it out from the get-go. Hopefully, he and his fellow NBA stars will not only address this possibility, but support it so the use of ignorant slurs will be all but eliminated from professional sports entirely, or at least the parts that are viewed by the general public.