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

NFL Top Stories

Thumbnail Falcons vs. Dolphins Pick Will the Falcons stay undefeated this preseason when they visit the Dolphins tonight at 8:00PM ET?
Thumbnail Seahawks' Season Win Total Prediction Will the Seattle Seahawks win at least 11 games in 2015 after falling short in the playoffs last season?
Thumbnail Packers Season Win Prediction After failing to win the NFC North last season, will the Green Bay Packers get back on track this season?
Thumbnail Bucs vs. Jaguars Free Pick Will tonight's Buccaneers and Jaguars game at 7:30PM ET be high-scoring for preseason bettors?
Thumbnail Broncos welcome 49ers to Mile High City For those who thought the Broncos’ internal quarterback debates were a thing of the past, guess again.
More inNFL Articles  
Advertisement

NFL Team Pages