/ LockerTalk (Exclusives) / Thug Is The New “N-Word”

The Combine Report: Week Six - Dunbar Filled Large Shoes, Hall Scored His First TD

By: Barry Barnes, Founder

Filling in for a Pro Bowl caliber player in the NFL is a blessing… and a curse.

The blessing is that a player gets the opportunity to perform, but the curse involves the high expectations to excel. If the player succeeds, all parties involved are rewarded.



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Quinton Dunbar/Redskins.com

The Combine Report: Week Six Preview: Rams WR Mike Thomas Returns, RC Pioneers Will Clash

By: Barry Barnes, Founder

After being suspended for the first four games of the 2017 season due to violating the NFL’s policy on performance enhancing substances, wide receiver Mike Thomas returns to the field with his spirited Los Angeles Rams teammates and looks to add to the explosiveness the receiving corps already has offensively.

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Mike Thomas/Google Images

The Combine Report: Week Five - NFL Regional Combine Veterans Played Their Roles Valiently

All NFL Regional Combine pioneers play a role. And no matter their role…large or small…these players execute their duties well enough to make their teams competitive. Week Five of the NFL was no exception.


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Cody Davis/therams.com

The Combine Report: Week Five Preview - A Combine Series Tandem Brewing In Jacksonville

By: Barry Barnes, Founder

Week Four of the NFL was totally owe by the kicking specialists from the NFL Regional Combine. Kicker Greg Zuerlein kept the Los Angeles Rams up right after nailing seen field goal attempts through the uprights, while Denver Broncos kicker Brandon McManus help to keep the game out of reach for the Oakland Raiders.

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The Combine Report: Week Four - Rams' RC Veteran Kicking Specialists Are Special

By: Barry Barnes, Founder

Kickers are like life preservers. Life preservers can’t run the ship, but they can save the people on the ship. Punter Johnny Hekker and kicker Greg Zuerlein, Los Angeles Rams kicking specialists and NFL Regional Combine …

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Rams Kicking Specialist/therams.com

The Combine Report: Week Four Preview - Browns Rookie LB B.J. Bello Earning More Time

By: Barry Barnes, Founder

Unfortunately, it has been the same old song for the Cleveland Browns, especially when it comes to defense. They play hard to keep contests close, but fizzle at the end. Evidently, there is talent in “the Land” on the defense side of the ball from the likes of linebacker Jamie Collins Sr., cornerback Jamar Taylor and safety and return specialist Jabrill Peppers to name a few.

Rookie linebacker B.J. Bello could be in the mix too.

Bello is a hybrid linebacker with a combination of athleticism, speed, aggression and patience. After his under the radar collegiate career at Illinois State, following a transfer from Illinois, he burst onto the NFL Regional Combine scene at the Minnesota-held trials in February.

The 6-2, 229-pound linebacker never lacked confidence, just opportunity. When the Browns signed him as an undrafted rookie, Bello excelled during camps and his progress showed in the preseason as he registered four tackles and a sack.

The Browns recognized Bello’s efforts and made him part of the 53-man roster. He was primarily on special teams and earned three tackles. Against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 3, Bello made it onto the field with the defense and was close to bringing down ball carriers twice.

“Since the age of six, playing in the yard, I wanted to play in the NFL,” said Bello via conversation. “To actually be here now is a dream come true.”

In Week Four, assuming he will fill some spots defensively, Bello could register more numbers.

“This is a great opportunity, man. To be with this organization, the only thing I can do is get better,” voiced Bello.


The Bears gave up nearly double-digit yards in punt returns. Packers return specialist Trevor Davis returned a punt for a touchdown in Week One of the preseason and had a return for 33 yards in Week Three.

Davis is getting close.

RELATED ARTICLE: The Combine Report: Week Three – RC Talents Were Radical In Protest And Played Ball


Will Thursday be the night that the second year-man from California and the 2016 RC session in New Orleans take it to the house?

One thing for sure, Bears defensive end Roy Robertson-Harris is looking to get his hands on some Packers, as he has two tackles and a pass defense this season.


Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence is bringing havoc to opposing quarterbacks with his furious pass rush. Fellow defensive end Benson Mayowa is causing problems as well.

Mayowa is nearly on every play when the Cowboys defensive front bears down on quarterbacks. With five tackles already this season, Mayowa should bring his total to double digits against the Rams.

Field positioning will be the key for the Rams.  They have one of the best punters in the NFL in Johnny Hekker to assist and kicker Greg Zuerlein to help keep things interesting.

Hekker is fourth in the league in net average yards with 44.6 per attempt, while Zuerlein is tied at the top of the NFL with 12 field goals and remains perfect.

Rams defensive back Cody Davis is quietly becoming known for his hard hitting. Against America’s team, in front of a national audience, Davis will have another stage to show that trait.



  • After a controversial week of standing for the national anthem against the team’s plan, Pittsburgh Steelers left tackle Alejandro Villanueva is looking to steam roll over some Baltimore Ravens, create lanes for the backfield and give quarterback Ben Roethlisberger the time he needs to lead the club. Punter Jordan Berry will keep the Ravens deep in their territory, and the Steelers will need him to.


  • Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen is on pace to earn his first 1,000 yard season. The Detroit Lions’ defense will key on wide receiver Stefan Diggs, and Thielen will burn them.


  • As rookie wide receiver Keelan Cole continues to prove his worth, the Jacksonville Jaguars will continue to make him a target, as they will fullback Tommy Bohanon who is exploiting his catching skills this season. Against the New York Jets, they will continue their growth. Nevertheless, either player may meet linebacker Julian Stanford, another RC brother.


  • Oakland Raiders wide receiver Seth Roberts has been quiet for the past two weeks. He should make some noise against division rival Denver Broncos.

“Like” this article if you love football, and “Follow” us on Twitter and Instagram

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The Combine Report: Week Three - RC Talents Were Radical In Protest, And Played Ball

By: Barry Barnes, Founder

Week Three of the NFL was…well…interesting, to say the least.

While many more players knelt during the National Anthem, one player in particular, although sensitive to the issues, proudly stood because his heart would not allow him to bow to controversy.

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Alejandro Villaneuva/Google Images

The Combine Report: Week Three Preview - Offensive RC Pioneers Look To Get Back On Track

By: Barry Barnes, Founder

Week Two of the NFL was exciting as defensive players from the NFL Regional Combine stole the show with huge hits and many stops. This week, the athletes on the other side of the ball will be expecting to be let loose.

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Seth Roberts/Raiders.com

The Combine Report: Week Two - Defensive RC Talents Aggressively Attacked

The NFL Regional Combine talents were sharp on the defense in Week Two. Several squads wanted to make amends for Week One. Many put their “best foot forward” via their shoulder pads as hitting was the name of the game for the RC defensive standouts.

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Cody Davis/therams.com

The Combine Report: Week Two Preview - Will RB Penny Elijhaa Get To Face Regular Season Action?

By: Barry Barnes, Founder

The Week Two of the NFL is shaping up to feature some solid intrigue among the NFL Regional Combine pioneers. Several players turned out and had strong performances in Week One. And Week Two should be no different.


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Elijhaa Penny/Google Images

Thug Is The New “N-Word”

Jeremiah Short on February 13, 2014 - 12:20 pm in LockerTalk (Exclusives), NCAA, NCAA Basketball, NFL, Uncategorized
5 (100%) 1 vote

Jeremiah Short, Feature Columinst

Orange is the new Black. 30 is the new 20. And thug is the new “N-Word.”

“Thug” is becoming the en vogue word to describe any black athlete who behaves inappropriately. Brittney Griner slugs a girl after countless hard fouls. She’s a thug. Colin Kaepernick sports tattoos and wears his hat backward in an interview. He’s a thug. Richard Sherman (A Stanford graduate) says he’s the best. He’s a thug, too.

The reaction to Marcus Smart shoving Jeff Orr, a Texas Tech super fan, reminded me once again that the use of the word “thug” is getting out of control.

Fans jumped on social media and immediately began to call Smart a thug. No one mentioned that the fan had a reputation for inappropriate behavior. It doesn’t excuse Smart’s behavior. But it wasn’t what the conversation was about. The conversation was about a “thug” putting his hands on a middle-aged, white man, and he must be punished for it.

Cooler heads did prevail. Smart apologized and received a three-game suspension. Orr apologized and voluntarily decided to not attend any more Red Raider games this season.

End of story. Or is it?

Incidents like Smart’s reinforce the idea that black athletes have to walk a fine line. They have to be better than the rest. Or better yet, “safe.”

They have to be a Russell Wilson, who has been deemed the safe negro. Wilson speaks properly, wears his hat to the front and is a team-first player. That’s not to say he’s some “Uncle Tom” or a “cornball” brother. It’s to say that’s what a black athlete is expected to be if they’re to be accepted.

That brings me back to the word thug and why the use of it is becoming so prevalent.

Sherman, the last “thug” of moment before Smart’s unfortunate incident, hit the nail on the head as why to the word thug is starting to be used so much to describe black athletes.

“The reason it bothers me is because it seems like it’s an accepted way of calling somebody the N-word now,” Sherman said. “It’s like everybody else said the N-word and then they say ‘thug’ and that’s fine.”

I don’t think I could have said it any better myself. Thug is becoming to the new way to call a black person a “nigger” and get away with it.

The “N-Word” has become taboo for anyone who isn’t black to use publicly without considerable backlash.

Paula Deen found that out the hard way. She saw her whole empire crumble when it was discovered that she regularly used the word to demean her black employees. (Although she might regain it soon)

Something else had to be substituted for racist who have displeasure with a black person’s actions.

It’s like there was some secret meeting convened about a new way to disparage black people.

Racist #1: Hey guys and gals, the N-Word’s out. Paula Deen done messed it up for us. We got to come up with something else to demean black people.

Racist #2: How about monkey?

Racist #1: Too obvious. C’mon people. I know you’re not that smart. Otherwise, why would you be this racist? We need something a little more acceptable.

Racist #3: How about thug?

Racist #1: That’s perfect. Everyone can be called a thug. But we know 99 percent of the time we’ll call black people a thug and laugh among ourselves at our new “code” word for nigger. Meeting adjourned. Go spread the word.

I’m sure it didn’t quite go down this way. But it sure feels that way with how quick a black person gets called a thug for non-thug behavior.

It troubles me even more considering the word thug derives from a band of “Thuggees” or “thugs“in the 1800’s who worshipped a goddess–Kali. They were one of the history’s most notorious cults who robbed and murdered.

And yes, for those thinking it, I did just go there with the word thug. Black athletes and entertainers are getting called such a demonic word because of minor transgressions. It’s just not right.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a column lamenting the demonization of black culture. The use of the word thug is another way that’s being done.

How can use of the word thug be curtailed? First, I think black people need to stop accepting it as an ok word. I don’t care if an athlete or entertainer has to buck up and complain every time they’re called a thug. Do it.

Second, when they do complain, they must articulate themselves the way Sherman did. Nothing shuts up detractors more than a well-thought out, well-written and well-spoken argument.

Smart wisely took that route and showed how great a young man that he was. “I take full responsibility,” Smart said at a press conference Sunday evening in Stillwater. “This is not me. I really do apologize for it. Like I said, I take full responsibility and the consequences that come with it.”

Thugs aren’t leaders. Thugs don’t come back for a sophomore season when they’re projected top-5 picks. And thugs don’t apologize for their actions like Smart did.

I’m all for new trends and changes. But thug being the new “N-Word” is one that needs to end.

 Follow me  @DaRealJShort or check out my facebook page JShortJournalist.


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