- August 13, 2014
As Michael Sam makes history as the first openly gay football player this year, the National Football League is taking a stand against racial and homophobic slurs.
In a training video that is being shown to NFL players during training camps across the country, NFL Vice President of Officiating Dean Blandino states, “We also want to stress that there will be zero tolerance for unsportsmanlike conduct, particularly verbal abuse directed at an opponent.”
According to the Washington Post, Blandino also explains that there will be a “zero tolerance” policy for use of racial slurs or harsh and offensive language relating to sexual orientation. This policy will not just be applied to players, but to all players, officials and NFL staff members.
Currently, the NFL has a non-discrimination policy that includes discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. This zero-tolerance policy expands protections for the LGBT community.
NFL’s Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent expands on the new policy in the video. “We are all professionals. You have worked hard and excelled for the honor and the privilege of playing in the National Football League. So have your competitors and game officials. Respect them. No amount of emotion should give way to demeaning and offensive language or actions in our workplace. That includes the locker room, on the practice field, during a game or when traveling as a team,” Vincent said.