NBA

Chris Bosh Wants the NBA to Ban Use of All Slurs

Feb 16, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; Eastern Conference forward Chris Bosh (1) of the Miami Heat is introduced before the 2014 NBA All-Star Game at the Smoothie King Center. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sport
Adam FromalNational NBA Featured ColumnistFebruary 26, 2014

Can you imagine a world in which the FCC doesn't have to monitor any NBA games?

Chris Bosh can. 

Recently, the Miami Heat power forward responded to a Miami-based radio reporter by speaking about the prospects of banning slurs from professional basketball. We're talking about racial and homophobic slurs alike, though the conversation started with a discussion about penalizing uses of the N-word. 

"It's a very tough situation," Bosh said, via ESPN's Michael Wallace. "If that's the case, they should ban all slurs. And I know it's a big deal, because I think that word is used too much, especially in the mainstream nowadays."

He continued by speaking about the difficulties of enforcing it and the potential danger of penalizing only the use of certain words: 

I don't know how they're going to [enforce] it. That's going to be a tough thing. It's your word against his word. I think that can kind of get tricky.

Well, what if I say this? There are a bunch of other [offensive] things I could say and not get a penalty. I think if we're going to bring one thing in, I think we've got to put them all in the hat. And I think that'll work out [better].

It's hard not to make an immediate connection to Jason Collins, who recently suited up for the Brooklyn Nets and became the first openly gay player to play in an NBA game. However, Bosh's comments came in response to news from the NFL, upon which Wallace elaborates: 

The NFL is considering legislation to enforce 15-yard penalties for the use of racial and homophobic slurs. Baltimore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome, who is part of the NFL's competition committee, expects the league to address the issue during meetings next week in Naples, Fla., before formally presenting potential guidelines during owners' meetings later in March.

Obviously, the NFL has not yet made a ruling, and any NBA decision wouldn't be forthcoming in the immediate future. That said, one would have to assume that technical fouls would be substituted in for those aforementioned 15-yard penalties. 

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - FEBRUARY 20: Chris Bosh #1 of the Miami Heat and LeBron James #6 celebrate during a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena on February 20, 2014 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowl
Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images

"It's like I said—if you're going to [penalize] one word, then put them all in there," Bosh espoused during his radio appearance. "Use every slur, every negative curse word, if you will, and that will simplify it a little bit."

No one from the NBA offices has commented on Bosh's remarks at this time, but the responses will undoubtedly be interesting and informative as we learn about where the league stands on these issues, as well as where it would be willing to draw the line. 

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