During this past weekend’s edition of The Sports Reporters, ESPN columnist and Numbers Never Lie co-host Jemele Hill said if she could select a “Sports Person of the Year” for 2013, she would nominate the “N-word.”
While Time magazine uses its “Person of the Year” award to recognize “impact,” Hill said, she wouldn’t use a “Sports Person of the Year” award to recognize impactful athletes like Serena Williams or Peyton Manning, who both won annual awards from prestigious publications.
“My ‘Sports Person of the Year’ wouldn’t be a person at all but a word that is both reviled and revered,” she explained. In 2013, she said, the “N-word” had taken center stage in the sports world, citing examples like Dolphins lineman Richie Incognito‘s infamous use of it “affectionately with black teammates” or Eagles receiver Riley Cooper yelling it at a concert.
Hill added that after Redskins tackle Trent Williams allegedly hurled the “N-word” at an umpire, the Fritz Pollard Alliance asked the NFL to fine players for using the word off-field and eject them for on-field use.
“Eradicating the N-word won’t eliminate racism,” Hill concluded. but this year sports challenged our grip on the word. That’s impact.”
Watch below, via ESPN:
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