A clip of Redskins’ wide receiver Terrelle Pryor swearing at the Kansas City Chiefs following Monday night’s loss has been circulating throughout the internet and has supporters has provoked major public backlash against Pryor. After the Redskins lost 29-10, Pryor shouted, ‘f$$$ you’ whilst making hand gestures at Chiefs supporters. While this appears to be an entirely unnecessary and unprofessional act, there’s much more to the story.
Pryor revealed that the reason for his outburst had to do with racial discrimination: apparently, Chiefs fans spat the ‘n’ word at the former Ohio State standout. This allegedly continued throughout the game, resulting in Pryor’s indignant response. His claim, if proven to be true, is very disappointing for any sports fan, and the NFL is opening an investigation to find out what exactly transpired.
Was this an isolated incident?
When addressing the issue of racism in the NFL, former Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis told Colin Cowherd on FS1 that he had received similar racially-fueled taunts from a rival young Jacksonville Jaguars fan, who suggested that ‘all n****** should be lynched’. The future Hall of Famer was shocked by the use such language, especially given that this verbal abuse was coming from an eleven-year-old boy in the company of (presumably) his father. Nobody deserves this treatment. Incidents such as these are disturbing for two reasons: this case confirms that this racist culture transcends generations, and fans attending NFL games feel comfortable enough to make such appalling remarks.
What should the NFL do?
Any respectable NFL fan would be embarrassed that these incidents even took place. Who would think that a crowd of Kansas City supporters would have tolerated blatantly racist remarks? The NFL has already stated that it continues to have ‘no tolerance’ for racial slurs, and will ban any fans who shout them. The NFL is no stranger to racially-charged activity. I need not remind you of the recent controversy surrounding the national anthem. But should the NFL be held totally accountable for this sort of behaviour? It can only do so much, if you ask me. This is a societal issue.