NEW YORK (AP) -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.
League officials said Tuesday that avoiding gang-related activities has long been stressed.
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. ``I 100 percent do not in any way promote gang violence or anything close to it.'' Pierce said in a statement. ``I am sorry if it was misinterpreted that way at Saturday's game.''
The Times said that was the precipitating incident for the NFL.
``We were always suspicious that might be happening,'' it quoted Mike Pereira, the NFL's vice president of officiating, as saying of gang-related signals. ``But the Paul Pierce thing is what brought it to light. When he was fined . . . that's when we said we need to take a look at it and see if we need to be aware of it.''
Most senior NFL officials were at a league outing Tuesday and could not immediately be reached for comment.

Recent NFL Discussions

2016 College Conference Previews on Tue, Jun 2016 by Blade
2016 QB Rankings on Wed, Jun 2016 by Blade
2016 Coaching Changes on Wed, Jun 2016 by Blade

NFL Top Stories

Thumbnail Luck gets extension with Colts The Indianapolis Coltshave locked up their franchise quarterback for another five years, as the team agreed to a new deal with Andrew...
Thumbnail Talib shot in the leg Aqib Talibwas shot in the leg on Saturday, but seems to have avoided serious injury and will be able to return to the Denver Broncos...
Thumbnail Romo eyes lengthy return Injuries have been an issue at times for Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo, but the veteran NFL star is far from thinking about...
Thumbnail Lockette retiring from Seahawks The Seattle Seahawks are losing another skill-position player from last year’s team as receiver Ricardo Lockette is expected to announce his retirement...
Thumbnail Dolphins securing the D-Line The Miami Dolphins are trying to make a push for the playoffs and they aided that on Saturday by signing Cameron Wake to a two-year...
More inNFL Articles  

NFL Team Pages