The NFL made headlines earlier this week when their competition committee reportedly suggested a rule proposal that would enforce a 15 yard penalty to players who use the N-word on the playing field.

And as expected, the rule proposal has provoked an array of reactions from the African-American community. Rev. Al Sharpton offered his two cents on the league’s pending decision and considered it as a “good first step” in tackling hateful language via a New York Daily News post published on Sunday (Feb. 23).

“I think that the penalty should go further — it ought to be immediate termination with the player having the right to all due process,” Sharpton said in his post. “If we don’t take an unequivocal stand on the N-word, what happens when openly gay athletes are mocked with the F-word on the field or players use anti-Semitic or anti-Irish words. We must send a message that all derogatory words are unacceptable and will face maximum penalty.”

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