BRENT STECKER

Seahawks’ Richard Sherman rips Roger Goodell, says NFL ‘isn’t fun’

Nov 3, 2016, 5:59 PM
Richard Sherman has never met an argument he can't win, making him the perfect union negotiator....
Richard Sherman has never met an argument he can't win, making him the perfect union negotiator.

Richard Sherman had his weekly turn at the microphone on Thursday, and it’s safe to say he had a few things he wanted to get off of his chest. And as is common when he’s at his more conversational, those things were about the NFL.

The outspoken Seahawks cornerback shared his thoughts on the amount of penalties the team has earned in this and recent seasons compared to those of Seattle’s opponents, and why the league’s TV ratings have been lagging this year. Those two things may be more closely related than you might think, according to Sherman.

The Seahawks’ opponents from 2014 to present have been flagged for 204 penalties, per 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny O’Neil, which is the lowest amount of any team in the NFL. Sherman said Seattle might be the leader in another related, albeit unofficial, category.

“We probably lead the league in NFL apologies,” he said, referring to plays that are acknowledged after the fact as having should have been called differently by officials. “(The Seahawks’ front office is) real connected to the New York office nowadays, aren’t they? So I’m sure that’s fun. But it is what it is. We just go out there and play. They are going to come back and they are going to apologize the next day.”

Sherman believes there’s a way to help referees from missing the calls he said the Seahawks keep getting apologies for.

“Make the rule book a lot less extensive,” he said. “You have a bunch of rocket scientists writing the rules I guess for a simple game. Like I’ve said before they always say the ask players and coaches about rules, but they really don’t take what they say into account, obviously. The game is entirely too difficult to officiate to be written by coaches and players, to be influenced by coaches and players. This game would be a lot more simplified for the refs. Obvious calls would have to be made if it affects a play. … You’ve got to simplify it; you’ve got to give them less things to watch because it’s hard for them too ever protect a defensive player.”

Not surprisingly, Sherman said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell should take the blame for the penalty issues as well as the league’s decreasing ratings.

“He hasn’t done a great job, and it’s obvious. For us to say he hasn’t done a great job is beating a dead horse honestly,” he said. “… The league isn’t fun anymore. Every other league, you see the players have a good time. It’s a game. This isn’t politics. This isn’t justice. This is entertainment. And they’re no longer allowing the players to entertain. They’re no longer allowing the players to show any kind of personality, any kind of uniqueness, any individuality. Because they want to control the product. They want to control the messaging.

“They say we’re trying to influence kids, and that’s their biggest thing. That’s their biggest ploy is you don’t want to be a bad influence to kids. You don’t want to be a bad role model. And I can agree with that. But in the same breath, you can’t say Budweiser is the official sponsor of the NFL, and we’re trying to influence kids. So there’s a ton of hypocrisy, but it doesn’t matter because we don’t control it.”

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Seahawks’ Richard Sherman rips Roger Goodell, says NFL ‘isn’t fun’