Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman is a smart, thoughtful guy, which means that he thinks the NFL is full of hypocrisy. He makes no secret about it, and he’s talented and eloquent enough that his voice is heard more clearly than many other players. He’s a valuable part of the NFL landscape.
Well, the Seahawks are playing the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday Night Football tonight, so obviously someone was going to ask Sherman what he thought about the practice of singling out two teams per week to be shorted on recovery and practice time for the purpose of owning another night of television. Predictably, he’s not a fan.
“I mean, it’s rough,” Sherman said. “It’s rough on the body. Any time you play a football game and play another one a few days later, it’s going to be tough on the body. But it’s just another one of those things. Another one of those simple contradictions of the league, because they care about us.”
There’s something very depressing about the tenor of Sherman’s comments. That is not the outrage of someone railing against a system, it’s the sardonic resignation of someone who knows they’re powerless to change anything.
And of course, he’s 100 percent right. The NFL’s unilateral policy of paying lip service to every cause without actually taking a meaningful stand is on display here. Sure, they’ve modified some rules to reduce head injuries, and that’s good progress. But they still serve up underprepared, still-bruised football players once a week because the moneymaking comes first.
Russell Wilson was asked about the same topic, and he was predictably, annoyingly positive and unwilling to take a stand, saying, “We look forward to the opportunity.”