NFL Steps Up Monitoring of Players for Gang Signs

AP, July 16, 2008

The NFL is stepping up its monitoring of on-field player activities to ensure that no one is flashing the hand signals of street gangs.

The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday that the league had hired experts to look at game tapes and identify players or team officials who might be using suspected gang signals. Violators would be warned and disciplined if the episodes recurred.

{snip}

They said the scrutiny was intensified after the shooting death of Denver cornerback Darrent Williams in 2007 after Williams was involved in a dispute with known gang members. Anti-gang information is included in orientation literature and stressed in the annual mandatory league meeting for rookies.

The NFL took further notice after Paul Pierce of the NBA’s Boston Celtics was fined $25,000 in April for what the league said was a “menacing gesture” toward the Atlanta Hawks’ bench. {snip}

The Times said that was the precipitating incident for the NFL.

{snip}

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