Last week, CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reported that league's competition committee could enact a rule this offseason that would make the use of the N-word by players during games a 15-yard penalty. On Sunday, Steelers safety Ryan Clark said team chairman Dan Rooney wanted the N-word out of the team's locker room last season. "Mr. Rooney actually talked to Ike Taylor about it this season," Clark told ESPN (via PFT). "Ike and Mr. Rooney have a very good relationship. He told Ike, 'I don't want you guys using that word.'" That included teammates speaking to one another or through the music played in the locker room. "Ike went around to specific people and said, 'Listen, this is what Mr. Rooney told me,'" Clark continued. "He's the ambassador. We call him Old Man Rooney. He has a lot of respect, and because of the way he has treated us as players, as black athletes, also treated Coach Tomlin as a black coach, you know it's coming from a place of love." Despite Rooney's request -- and the respect that the players have for him -- Clark said the moratorium on using the N-word didn't last. "You stopped hearing it immediately that day," Clark said. "But after a while it came back because it's the culture. After a while it comes back because this is what these guys have grown up with." And that could be an issue with trying to implement the change in one offseason. Still, John Wooten, head of the Fritz Pollard Alliance that monitors diversity in the NFL, said he expects the league to address the matter in the coming months. "I will be totally shocked if the competition committee does not uphold us on what we're trying to do," Wooten told La Canfora. "We want this word to be policed from the parking lot to the equipment room to the locker room. Secretaries, PR people, whoever, we want it eliminated completely and want it policed everywhere.
Ryan Clark: Dan Rooney wanted N-word out of Steelers locker room
CBS Sports | Feb 24