The Senate Commerce Committee announced today that they will hold hearings with National Football League (NFL) representatives to discuss the league’s use of colored flags, which some view as offensive.
In a statement released on her website, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) said she’ll be leading the effort against use of the yellow and red penalty flags on behalf of the Asian-American and Native-American communities.
“In 2013, it is incredibly insensitive to use colored flags to penalize players because at the same time you are penalizing different races,” she told ESPN. “Yellow flags offend Asian-Americans. Red flags offend Native-Americans. It’s that simple.
“The NFL is sending a bigoted message by using these colors when players do something wrong. Just break the rules? That’s something that colored people do, here’s a colored flag for you! It’s racist. And we can’t allow racism in one of America’s most popular sports.”
Although the quest may seem like political correctness run amuck to some, leaders in the House of Representatives seem to agree with Boxer’s drive in the Senate and promise cooperation on any future legislation.
“This is not just about flags,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told CBS Sports. “We need to tackle mascots too. The Washington Redskins are racist. The Kansas City Chiefs are racist. The Cleveland Browns are offensive to just about everybody with tan-colored skin.
“We also need to take a hard look at teams like the Packers and the Rams, whose names are incredibly offensive to the gay community.”
The NFL has been in Congress’ cross hairs on several occasions before, most recently regarding player health and the epidemic of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).
But in a press conference today, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell seemed taken back by the latest controversy. “We have focused on what we deem as more important. Having more black coaches for example. We want the coaching staffs to better represent the players.
“We aren’t sure what the committee is trying to figure out but we don’t feel we have anything to hide. A flag has to be some color. We can make them green but then they match the color of the grass field. We could try blue. We’ll look into it. We will comply with any governmental requests.”
Former Chicago Bears Coach and current ESPN Analyst Mike Ditka also slammed the hearings. “Are you kidding me? No really, you kidding? This has to be a joke. In all my years I’ve never heard of something so stupid, ridiculous. Christ almighty, we must be lucky the NFL doesn’t use black flags,”
“We are turning into a country of pansies. What the hell are we going to do when the Chinese invade?”Da Coach said outside his Chicago restaurant.
New England Patriots current head coach Bill Belichick had a different perspective. “I agree colored flags should not be used to penalize my players for infractions but I don’t see why they can’t be used to penalize the other team. It’s not like I enjoy cheating but I don’t mind it, anything for an edge.”
Mr. Belichick was fined $100,000, the largest in NFL history, in 2007 for illegally taping opposing teams defensive signals.
ESPN talked to Steve Merchant outside Te’Kila, the largest Seattle Seahawks fan bar in Hollywood, Calif., to see how fans were reacting to the news.
When asked about the use of colored flags, Merchant replied, “Red flags, yellow flags, who gives a shit? You’d think with everything going on around the world and in this country, that Congress could spend their time more wisely. Apparently not.”