Mutual respect, locker room culture and hazing have been some of the hottest topics in the NFL since the Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin saga broke during the 2013 NFL season. This offseason, the league has put an increased emphasis on creating what they are calling “a culture of respect.”
The league has put a full-court press in trying to establish a new culture inside the locker rooms across the league. One way they are doing this is sending ex-players in to NFL locker rooms to discuss the “culture of respect” the NFL is trying to establish.
One such player is Aeneas Williams of the Arizona Cardinals. According to Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report, the NFL Hall of Famer has put an emphasis on changing how players speak to each other and
Williams’ message was simple: “If a word offends anyone, then it shouldn’t be used.”
According to Freeman, Hall of Famer Aeneas Williams, who played for the Cardinals, specifically asked players not to use the N-word, and also asked them not to play music containing the word.
Some could see this as another example of Roger Goodell’s culture of political correctness taking over, but Williams’ message to the Cardinals also opens up a debate about the free use of the N-word in not just the NFL, but in the general sporting culture in this country.
Undoubtedly this message and others like it across the league are in an effort to curb some of the bad press the NFL has gotten since the Incognito-Martin saga.
What remains to be seen is if this initiative will change anything inside locker rooms. After all, we are talking about grown men and regulating speech is pretty antithetical to American life.