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Richard Sherman blames Roger Goodell for NFL’s falling ratings

02 OCT 2016: Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman (25) reacts and throws the ball after making an interception during the game between the New York Jets and the Seattle Seahawks played at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford,NJ. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)
Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman blamed commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL’s increased focus on unsportsmanlike conduct penalties for the 2016 season’s drop in ratings. In speaking with reporters Thursday, Sherman said that “the league isn’t fun anymore.”

“Every other league, you see the players have a good time,” Sherman said. “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.”

Sherman blamed this on the league wanting to have too much control over the players and the message of the league. “They say we’re trying to influence kids, and that’s their biggest thing,” he said. “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.”

However, Sherman certainly wasn’t going to let Goodell and the league off that easy. He went on to identify hypocrisy in the controlled message he sees Goodell curating. “But in the same breath, you can’t say Budweiser is the official sponsor of the NFL, and we’re trying to influence kids,” he said. “So there’s a ton of hypocrisy, but it doesn’t matter because we don’t control it.”

Sherman was also asked about how other players react to his tendency to speak out. “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.”

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