So, imagine you’re me, a black player, and ALL of these horrible homophobic and racial slurs are written out in all their glory, so to speak, but when it comes to this term, all that is written is ‘the N-word.’ As you know, I have a bit of twisted sense of humor, at least this is what I think most of my friends would say. I find irony and sarcasm extremely funny and I have a dark sense of humor at most times.
This is my first time and interaction with the team at all in general. Now, I don't mind kind of setting the tone early in terms of, ‘Hey, this is who I am.’ I'm always genuine and honest about who I am. You're either going to like it or you're going to hate it; it is what it is. I think, for the most part, approaching life this way establishes an environment where people make up their minds about me quickly. They think I'm smart or clever, they understand that I'm being sarcastic or funny, or they think I'm a complete idiot.
I think the guy who was presenting happened to be white and he was getting very nervous as he's going through the words that you can't say. Then he got to the N-word. He simply said, ‘you can’t say the N-word.’
I had raised my hand (and mind you, I wouldn't recommend doing this when you first show up to a team or organization). Most of the guys don't even know me at all, I haven't had a conversation with anyone really, as of at this point in time. So, I had raised my hand and the guy had called on me and I'd looked up and I pointed to the board and said, ‘Hey, you know, I see, I understand all these words, but uh, but what's the N-word?’
Of course, the presenter got very nervous very quickly. He was on the hot seat for a little bit, because of course, this is a really sensitive topic. I just thought it was funny because I’m me. Of course, then l let him know, ‘Hey man, I'm just messing with you.’
I thought that was funny and I went about my business, you know, the rest of the preseason. I did my work, became a union rep for the organization, worked with guys over the course of several months, and didn't really think much of it other than just that moment. I thought it was funny and moved on.