Fans and Players are Questioning Whether New Rules are Necessary
There have been a number of recent changes in the National Football League (NFL) that have stirred up controversy with players, coaches and fans who are beginning to refer to it as the “No Fun League.”
“[These new rules] are taking the individuality out of the game. I understand that good sportsmanship must be promoted because there are kids watching, but at the same time it takes the spontaneity out of the game and that’s what makes it fun. At the end of the day it is just entertainment,” Old Dominion University student, Obinna Chukwu said.
In late February, the NFL announced that there may be a 15-yard penalty for the use of the N-word and gay slurs. According to the Fritz Pollard Alliance, which monitors league diversity, the new rule will likely be enacted at March’s owner’s meetings or this offseason. John Wooten, chairman of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, expects the NFL to aim for an automatic 15-yard penalty for first-time offenders. The second offense would result in an automatic ejection.
Many football fans are skeptical about this proposed rule because “trash talk” is simply a part of the game. Also, it would be difficult for officials to enforce this rule because if the N-word is considered as unsportsmanlike conduct then the same would have to be done for any other words that may be seen as hurtful to an individual. There are a number of ways to insult an individual without using certain words. Should there be a 15-yard penalty for these words also?
“The NFL is a business and in any business you will have co-workers that will say things that make you feel uncomfortable. As long as you aren’t putting your hands on someone it should not be a problem. The NFL is a go-hard sport and it should be left the way it is,” ODU student Trevor Alexander said.
It seems that the new “No Fun League” has struck again, as this is not the only proposed change for the 2014 season.
NFL vice president of officiating, Dean Blandino, told the Dan Patrick Show that dunking over the crossbar will be penalized under a reinterpretation of the rule banning the use of a football as a prop. This will go into effect at the start of the 2014 season. The NFL is banning future Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez’s patented goalpost-touchdown dunk celebration just in time for his retirement.
New Orleans Saints tight end, Jimmy Graham, who led the NFL in touchdowns, with 16 last season, made headlines in Atlanta with a dunk so thunderous that the game had to be stopped while stadium workers fixed the bent goal post. Graham took to his Twitter almost immediately in response to the new penalties that players will receive for Goalpost Dunks.
“I guess I’ll have to lead the @nfl in penalties next year,” Graham said.
There were a good number of other NFL players who also took to Twitter, including Seattle Seahawks defensive back Richard Sherman.
“Now they want players to be robots or they will penalize…. Next is chest bumps and high fives…smh” Sherman tweeted. “Well most of the rule makers have never played..Maybe that’s the problem.”
By Jasmine Blackwell