Pollard Alliance asks NFL for language penalty

BARRY WILNER, AP Pro Football Writer
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Umpire Roy Ellison (81) during an NFL football game between the Detroit Lions and the Houston Texans at Ford Field in Detroit. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski, File)

Umpire Roy Ellison (81) during an NFL football game between the Detroit Lions and the Houston Texans at Ford Field in Detroit. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — The Fritz Pollard Alliance has sent a letter to the NFL calling for a 15-yard penalty for use of abusive language on the field by players or officials.

The alliance sent the letter on Monday to NFL General Counsel Jeff Pash specifically noting the use of racial epithets and the “N word.”

Citing the league’s rule book which prohibits the use of “abusive, threatening, or insulting language or gestures to opponents, officials, teammates, or representatives of the league,” Fritz Pollard Alliance’s counsel, Cyrus Mehri, says “there is no valor in using racial epithets. … Directing the “N” word towards others in a place of work is abusive, threatening, and insulting.”

Last Friday, the league announced that umpire Roy Ellison was suspended for last weekend as punishment for words directed at left tackle Trent Williams late in the second quarter of the Redskins’ loss to the Philadelphia Eagles the previous Sunday.

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