On Thursday, Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman spoke to reporters about why he thinks the NFL has had a decline in ratings this season:
“Because the league isn’t fun anymore,” Sherman said. “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, etc., etc.
“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.”
Sherman isn’t the only one who feels that Goodell has robbed all the fun out of the NFL. According to Sherman, other players have voiced support of his stance:
“More just players understanding that it’s the truth and applauding me and saying they wouldn’t have said it, but they respect that I said it,” Sherman said. “… It’s the truth. 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.”
It’s not the first time Sherman has been vocal about his issues with the ever increasing NFL rule book. Particularly, about the unique challenge the rules have presented to defensive players. Goodell has repeatedly stated the rules are about safety, not fun-removal, but Sherman isn’t having any of Goodell’s “excuses”:
“No, I don’t buy it,” he said. “That’s for public perception. They don’t care about player safety. I’ve said that several times. But they do care about paying the quarterback $20 million and him missing a season. They do care about that.
“So whether they say player safety or whatever it is, they’re tired of $20 million quarterbacks sitting on the bench or IR for the whole season, so they’re going to do whatever they can to protect their investments, and that’s universal.”