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Ozzie Newsome on proposed penalty for use of N-word

The chairman of the Fritz Pollard Alliance, a group that monitors racial diversity in the NFL, believes the league will soon enact a rule that will penalize a player 15 yards for using the N-word on the field during a game.

John Wooten said he expects the measure to be supported by the NFL Competition Committee during meetings next week in Naples, Fla. If the rule change is endorsed by the committee, it will be presented to owners for a vote.

"I will be totally shocked if the competition committee does not uphold us on what we're trying to do," Wooten said, according to CBSSports.com.

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Baltimore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome is a member of the competition committee. On Saturday at the NFL Scouting Combine, Newsome was asked about the proposal.

"We did discuss it over the last three days," Newsome said. "We'll now go down to Naples starting next Friday and spend more time talking about it."

"With any rule that we put into play, we have to look at it from A to Z and find out what are the unintended consequences as much as the consequences," Newsome added. "But as it was stated in our meeting, there are mics everywhere. So, if something is being said, it's probably going to be captured somewhere. So, it would be an opportunity to get it verified if we had to."

The Alliance came to the defense of umpire Roy Ellison in November after Washington Redskins offensive tackle Trent Williams was accused of using the N-word toward the official during a game. Ellison was suspended by the NFL for profane language directed at Williams. The N-word was also prominent in the Wells report on the Miami Dolphins' workplace culture.

"I think they're going to do what needs to be done here," Wooten said. "There is too much disrespect in the game."

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