BY SPNW Staff 03:47PM 09/29/2016

Sherman castigates NFL bosses in video feature

Seahawks CB Richard Sherman lambasted the NFL for the Players Tribune, insisting in a new weekly feature that the league didn’t do enough to protect Cam Newton in Week 1.

Richard Sherman took on the NFL over the Cam Newton issue. / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest

Seahawks CB Richard Sherman produced the first in a weekly video series for The Players Tribune, in which he attacks NFL management, insisting that the league “really could care less” about its players. In his initial effort, Sherman ranted about the manner in which league officials handled Carolina QB Cam Newton’s situation, when the reigning MVP was hit five times in the head by the Denver Broncos in Week 1.

“It’s hard to stress player safety in such a violent game because at the end of the day, ratings sell, people want to buy tickets, people are going to come to games regardless,” Sherman said. “Now does the league care when Cam Newton gets hit in the face five times and pretty much knocked out of the game?

“And they have all these spotters and people that watch the game specifically for these reasons, and you see (Newton) on his hands and knees shaking his head after he just took a shot to the face. And they’re saying they didn’t see any indications that he needed to come out of the game.

“If you take the reigning MVP out of a game in the last couple minutes with the game on the line, he’d be frustrated, the fans would be frustrated, but it would be in line with what (the NFL) said, (what the NFL) wants to see in terms of player safety. But you didn’t, because it would affect the ratings, because it would affect the game.

“They’re (the NFL) a bottom-line business. If you can increase their bottom line, then they’ll love you. They’ll do everything they can to put you out more, to market you, to make sure the fans buy your jersey. If you’re not making them money, they’re going to find somebody else.”

Sherman went on to say that the public gets confused by the relationship between the league and its players. He said the relationship doesn’t have to be amicable, and it’s not going to be.

“We really don’t have reason to trust the NFL, and I don’t think they mind, either way,” Sherman said. “At the end of the day, they’re going to do what they have to do to make their money, and as much as they can for the owners. And our union’s going to do what they can to protect the interests of the players and the rights of the players and help make them as much money as possible. That’s the way it’s always going to be.

“That’s the relationship we have with the league. They’re going to use us until our time is up, and then they’re going to find somebody else.”

Sherman is providing a weekly feature for The Players Tribune called “Tuesdays with Richard on Thursdays,” in which he offers a behind-the-scenes look at the All-Pro cornerback’s life on his off-day.


  • Paul Harmening

    Could we be looking at a union shut-down way down the road, especially if Sherman is the players rep?

  • jafabian

    Don’t all employers essentially use up employees until they’re unable to perform? That’s not unique to the NFL. All jobs do that. Nor is the NFL unique in having employees be put in situations where they could possibly be hurt. More and more players have been leaving the NFL due to concerns about injury and that’s how it should be. Millions of dollars aren’t worth your health or life.

  • woofer

    “Castigates,” “lambasted,” “attacks,” “ranted”?

    Give me a break. Why the inflammatory language? If you actually watch the tape, you will see that Sherman was calm, precise and analytical in his comments. One may perhaps disagree with his views, but they were offered in an almost matter-of-fact tone.

    One reality that the Kaepernick saga and aftermath have brought home is the groveling butt-kissing nature of sports writing. You surely know what your core audience craves. Never let the truth stand in the way of delivering the coveted product.

  • 1coolguy

    Given the $14.5m Sherm is making this year, incl bonus, I’d say the NFL’s bottom line is treating him quite well. Hey Sherm, you are making more in ONE year than I will in MY LIFETIME, so get real! Let alone the many years you are making this. Geeez – get a dose of reality pal.
    As to Newton, he should have pulled himself out of the game if he was affected by the hits, as I would advise ALL players to do.
    Also, the team doc should examine each player that is affected by hits each time they see this happen.
    Players are employees and ALL owners want to see their employees healthy and doing well, so I don’t quite understand Sherman’s rant.
    Of course, if he is a TRUE BELIEVER, he can always QUIT in protest, or at the very least, sit out a season. But since he is not a true believer, that won’t happen.
    Frankly, given the owners are all rich people, I’d like them to simply shut down the league for a year and after the players capitulate, re-negotiate the player’s contract even more to the owners advantage. I suspect a shutdown would be a “come to Jesus” moment for at least 80% of the players and would be interesting to watch.

  • John M

    Have to agree with the tone of the below responses, most of us understand how it works. There’s a lot of money involved in pro ball of about any kind which brings out the green monster in everyone involved. I think it’s reasonable to compare the risks of NFL players to race car drivers, who are usually compensated far, far less than NFL starters. They often suffer injuries and sometimes get killed. They do it because they love it. So, Sherm, if you don’t love it and accept the risks, stop, you’ve got enough money to sustain you now. I’m afraid your rant has the whiff of self-aggrandizing about it . . .

  • George Johnson

    Richard Sherman does love the game and he very well understands the risks. He also understands his role as a NFLPA player representative for the Seahawks is to advocate for his teammates and fellow players in the NFL. When you love what you do and love your teammates, doing all that you can for your brothers should be something that’s respected, supported, and celebrated. As a fan I’ve many times questioned whether I should be supporting a sport that causes so much pain (and sometimes death) for the players I love to watch. I continue supporting it because I love the game. I can only imagine how difficult it is for a player.

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