Earlier today Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks became the highest paid cornerback in the NFL. If you thought all that money would make him more shy about voicing his opinions, you would have been wrong.
In an interview with Time magazine, Sherman was asked about the Donald Sterling controversy in the NBA. When asked if he thought that Commissioner Roger Goodell would react as decisively as Adam Silver did, Sherman was frank:
TIME: NBA commissioner Adam Silver banned Donald Sterling for life. Do you think if an NFL owner made similar comments, would commissioner Roger Goodell react in the same way, and do you think an owner would be banned for life?
Sherman: No I don’t. Because we have an NFL team called the Redskins. I don’t think the NFL really is as concerned as they show. The NFL is more of a bottom line league. If it doesn’t effect their bottom line, they’re not as concerned.
Sterling, who owns the Los Angeles Clippers was caught on tape berating his old girlfriend for taking pictures with Magic Johnson. He told her not to bring black people to his games and made a number of other overtly racist remarks. It was hardly the first time that Sterling was involved in a racial controversy. He was sued several times for discrimination as well. NBA Commissioner Silver banned Sterling for life, fined him $2.5 million dollars and has vowed to force Sterling to sell. Silver’s actions have been almost universally lauded by the sports world.
Silver’s example makes all of the other major sports commissioners look weak and ineffective by comparison, including Goodell. Sherman is dead on about the NFL only caring about the bottom line – without a major economic incentive they simply refuse to be progressive on issues like racism and player safety.
Hopefully Sherman will continue to use his status as a voice for change in the NFL and in our society. Keep on rolling!