The Seattle Seahawks cornerback, Richard Sherman, has come to the same conclusion as the workers in many other industries; which is that they are replaceable, according to ESPN. Whether or not that is accurate is a matter of opinion, but Sherman had stated his opinion loud and clear in a video he released for The Player’s Tribune, when he made the statement, “The NFL could really care less about its players.” (As an aside, the correct verbiage is “couldn’t care less about its players,” but proper grammar isn’t the issue at hand.)
On September 29, Sherman tweeted, “It’s a reality: we really don’t have a reason to trust the NFL.” His tweet was re-tweeted thousands of times. One of the situations that seemed to provoke his assertion is the game that included Cam Newton against the Denver Broncos in week one, in which Newton allegedly took repeated blows to the head, and safety measures set up by the NFL were not followed.
“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. 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 the guy 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.”
NBC Sports reported that Panthers coach Ron Rivera said he had every reason to believe that procedure was followed, and he had no reason to believe that Cam Newton was concussed.
“I have a tremendous amount of confidence in our medical staff. We follow the protocol the way it’s been explained to us, and I say that because of what we’ve done the last few years.”
Richard Sherman, a respected player for the Seahawks, doesn’t seem to be in agreement that procedures are followed and queries what is the most important issue to the NFL.
“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 you said, [what] you want 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 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, to put your jersey out because it makes them more money. If you’re not making them money, then at the end of the day, they’re going to find somebody else.”
Sherman said that fans should realize that the NFL and the actual football players aren’t necessarily on the same side, although fans seem to perceive it to be that way. On the contrary, he says, often the relationship is not amicable at all as the players fight to protect their best interests, which is often their health, and the league fights to protect what he says is its top interest, which is money. Those two don’t naturally coincide, according to Sherman.
“We really don’t have reason to trust the NFL, and I don’t think they mind either way. At the end of the day, they’re going to do what they have to do to make their money and as much money 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 are going to find somebody else.”
The video of Sherman shows a composed and calm opinion segment in which he visibly shows no emotion, and he just states his point of view in a matter of fact manner. He doesn’t appear to necessarily blame the NFL for their position, but Sherman wants to make it clear to the public that players and the NFL are not on the same side as the public may think. He also promotes a pro-union stance, citing the fact that many players do not come from affluent backgrounds and are likely overwhelmed with the possibility of making such a staggering amount of money, although he stresses it is only for a brief period of time.
What are your views on Richard Sherman’s statements? Do you share them? Sound off below in the comments section.
[Featured Image by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images]