Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman is known for being one of the NFL’s most outspoken player advocates. In addition, Sherman is known for being a player who loves to talk to the media. He is also the type of person to speak his mind, and is not afraid at all of expressing his opinions. In his five-minute interviews during Tuesday’s Super Bowl Media Day, he had no problem calling out NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
The New England Patriots’ “deflate-gate” scandal occurred in the AFC Championship game almost two weeks ago, yet this controversy has remained in the headlines, ultimately affecting the way NFL fans are looking at the whole franchise. Many fans are looking at the Patriots as cheaters, believing the team should not be preparing for a Super Bowl game this week. Not only are fans upset about the situation, but other NFL teams are finding themselves having to take sides. Sherman, who is on the team that will be competing against the Patriots in this weekend’s Super Bowl, is expressing his own opinions on this situation, but not so much about the Patriots, but rather on Commissioner Goodell.
On Tuesday’s Media Day, Sherman pointed out that Goodell has yet to speak on the deflate-gate scandal that occurred in New England’s locker rooms. The scandal has the entire country questioning whether or not the footballs that were used were deflated in order for them to be easier to catch in the harsh weather that occurred during the Patriots’ AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts. The deflated footballs could have been a reason why the Patriots nearly slaughtered the Colts 45-7. In Tuesday’s interview, Sherman mentioned that he had been aware of the friendship between Goodell and Patriots owner Robert Kraft, and that he is certain that Goodell was at Kraft’s house the week before to celebrate the AFC Championship title. Sherman had no problem saying to the media: “Talk about a conflict of interest.”
Not only has this stirred up questions of a possible conflict of interest for Goodell and the Patriots, but Sherman also expressed his opinion on that Goodell should be speaking more overall to the public. Sherman’s teammate, Marshawn Lynch, has been fined before for not making himself available to the media for interviews. Earlier this season, Lynch was fined $100,000 for not complying with the league’s media policy and was also told that he would be fined $500,000 if he failed to participate in the Super Bowl’s Media Day. While Lynch did make himself available, he responded to every question asked of him on Tuesday with “I’m just here so I don’t get fined.”
Seeing this, Sherman found a way to call out Goodell. Lynch was uncomfortable speaking to the media, and Sherman feels that the league needs to accommodate players like Lynch who may not be as willing to answer interview questions. While players are often interviewed for numerous reasons, Sherman questioned why Goodell has yet to speak on the Patriots deflate-gate scandal. Could it be a possible conflict of interest? Has he avoided speaking to the public because of how uncomfortable he would have been speaking on the controversy that has hit headlines all week? As the Super Bowl is merely four days away, many are questioning when Goodell will address the issue, or if he will at all.
Commentary by Tricia Manalansan
Photo Courtesy WEBN-TV – Creativecommons License