The NFL’s proposal to penalize players for using the N-word may not be a problem for the Rev. Al Sharpton, but it doesn’t sit well with Michael Wilbon.
The ESPN host let his feelings be known about the controversial issue during Monday’s episode of “Pardon The Interruption (PTI).”
To sum it up, Wilbon has a “massive problem” with what’s being discussed.
“So you’re gonna have a league with no black owners and a white commissioner — middle-aged and advanced-aged white men — say to black players, mostly — because that’s what we’re talking about — ‘you can’t use the N-word on the field of play, or we’re gonna penalize you,’” he expressed. “I’ve got a massive problem with that. I don’t think it’s gonna happen. I know there are black men of the same age – John Wooten being one of them — who say ‘no, you’ve got to take this word out of the workplace.’ I understand that. But I don’t want it enforced like this.”
Wilbon’s views are a contrast to Sharpton, who considered the penalty a “good first step” in tackling hateful language. Nevertheless, the MSNBC personality felt efforts should be made to fully utilize the power of the proposal should it be approved.
“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 a post for the New York Daily News. “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.”
Despite his opposition to the proposed NFL penalty, Wilbon confessed to using the N-word himself before appearing on ESPN’s , “Outside The Lines.” (Watch the full clip below)