The schism between the NFL and its players seems to grow wider and wider as more information about player safety becomes available. The discussion around player safety headlines a lengthy list of items that players and the league disagree on. How can the NFL both serve their financial interests and prioritize player safety when the two collide time and time again? In a personal video essay, Richard Sherman attempts to untangle to the messy discourse on player safety and draws a clear line on where both parties stand.
Sherman’s cogent point on the players lack of trust in the NFL may appear bombastic on its face, but it carries weight when laid up against the supposed emphasis on player safety in the last five years. There have been a rash of players retiring early in recent years due to long-term health concerns. As Sherman points out, football is a short career, which makes it an imperative that players can trust the league to act in their best interest.
The NFL rakes in billions of dollars every year and the violence woven into the sport plays a large part in that. Maybe, as Sherman points out, the NFL and its players will never have a friendly relationship. It’s not a requirement for the two parties to like each other in order to come to a mutually beneficial conclusion. Solutions to complicated problems such as this, start with frank, open discussion. Richard Sherman has never been afraid of that.
(Via Players Tribune)