This tweet, from the Palm Beach Post's Andrew Abramson, who spoke with some NFL refs about the new emphasis on policing players' bad language, suggests all sorts of funny possibilities:
Refs said preseason will be barometer, a test. There are questions about players using N word ending with R vs N word ending with A
— Andrew Abramson (@AbramsonPBP) August 1, 2014
You know what this means, right? Among other things it means that at some point, somewhere in the offices of the NFL, some poor schmuck will have to sit down with a bunch of Randall Kennedy books and a copy of Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip and write a memo clarifying the difference between "nigger" and "nigga." And that someone will have to put it in braille for Jeff Triplette. And that, thus educated, a crew of mostly white referees will spend their Sundays monitoring for schwa sounds. This is going to be something.
If such a memo ever comes into being—and surely it will—we would like very much to see it: firstname.lastname@example.org.