Because of the way the NFL supports the Redskins nickname, Richard Sherman doesn’t believe Commissioner Roger Goodell would have banned an owner for racist comments the way NBA Commissioner Adam Silver booted Donald Sterling.
Asked by Time Magazine if Goodell would have done what Silver did, Sherman said, “No, I don’t.”
Sherman, fresh off a new contract extension that made him the highest-paid NFL cornerback, took advantage of his newly elevated pedestal by saying something few others in the NFL would have the guts to say. He believes that the NFL doesn’t get racial sensitivity by the way it supported owner Daniel Snyder’s continued use of the name.
“Because we have an NFL team called the Redskins,” Sherman said, “I don’t think the NFL really is as concerned as they show. The NFL is more of a bottom-line league. If it doesn’t affect their bottom line, they’re not as concerned.”
Sherman said he was not surprised by Sterling’s disparaging remarks about blacks and pointed to the criticism he endured following his nationally televised rant after Seattle beat the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC title game.
“I wasn’t really shocked or anything because of what I saw after the incident after the NFC Championship Game,” he said. “You’ve got a lot of racial backlash, and a lot of racist comments that were uncalled for — I can never see a time where racism is called for. So it didn’t shock me as much as it would have had I not experienced that personally, had I not seen those things.
“It showed me that America still had some progress to make. On equality, and understanding that it doesn’t matter what color you are, you treat people as people. And whether a good person or a bad person, you don’t judge them off the color of their skin. You can know a person is a good person or a bad person by who they are, not by what they look like. In that situation, it just seems like a lot of people gave (Sterling) a lot of flak, well deserved, but you know — I feel like a lot more people were more surprised than they should have been.
“That’s why a lot of people shy away from the conversation that I forced on us in January. People want to it to be done, they want that uncomfortable truth to be over with, they want the racism to be done, they want to believe everything is great and hunky-dory. And it’s not. There’s a lot of racism still alive and still active. And it just forced America to rethink it once again, and to really, really understand that racism isn’t gone. We have to actively push it out. And snuff it out.”