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Richard Sherman says Roger Goodell needs to ‘give up some of his power’

The Washington Post logo The Washington Post 10/28/2016 Jake Russell

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman sees what’s going on around the NFL.

He’s well aware of the declining TV numbers, the way the league has handled domestic violence situations and its crackdown on player celebrations. In a Players’ Tribune piece Thursday, Sherman points to one commonality among them: commissioner Roger Goodell.

Speaking on the issues of players celebrating big plays, Sherman didn’t hold back, calling the league out for its hypocrisy.

Antonio Brown can’t twerk after a touchdown because it’s “sexually suggestive.” But every Sunday, on most sidelines, there are rows of cheerleaders doing the same types of moves to entertain the crowd.
The NFL doesn’t want players to do anything that might set a bad example for the kids in its audience — such as showboat, or celebrate excessively — yet it features beer ads in all of its stadiums and in almost every commercial break. Josh Norman can’t shoot an imaginary bow and arrow after a big pick because the NFL says that it depicts a “violent act.” Meanwhile, the name of the team he plays for depicts Native Americans in a way that many people consider offensive.

“The fact that something as simple as calling a catch a catch has become so complicated doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in the league’s ability to deal with more consequential issues,” Sherman added.

In the piece titled “Common Sense,” Sherman also touched on the domestic violence issues prevailing in the NFL.

“What some people didn’t notice about the new personal conduct policy,” Sherman wrote, “was that within the policy’s language was the stipulation that the NFL reserved the right to impose a longer or shorter suspension depending on the circumstances of the incident. So basically, there is no real policy. The NFL can do whatever it wants.”

In the piece, the 28-year-old says Goodell should “give up some of his power.”

Part of the problem is that players are being told to “act like they’ve been there” by a group of people who have never been there themselves — Roger Goodell chief among them. I also think one of the things that needs to happen is for Roger Goodell to give up some of his power. He’s not an all-seeing, all-knowing, all-powerful being. He’s human, and I think he needs help dealing with the issues facing the league — from unsportsmanlike conduct to domestic violence.

Sherman criticized Goodell in March when asked about the NFL’s proposal to impose a rule ejecting a player from a game after two unsportsmanlike penalties. The three-time Pro Bowler said the concept was “foolish” and called the commissioner “just a suit.”

“At the end of the day, fans don’t want to watch robots,” Sherman wrote in the Players’ Tribune. “They want to watch players having fun and showing emotion. I’m with them. I think what they also want is for the league to be consistent in its discipline. To be transparent. To do what it says it’s going to do and to use a little common sense. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.”


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