Richard Sherman has criticized the NFL as being hypocritical for its media polices.
He still defiantly swipes off the podium from which he speaks the props the league has its teams stage, bottles of league-sponsor Gatorade. That’s not the sports drink he endorses.
Last week, he railed against the NFL for its rules being weighted for the offense and scoring and inherently against defenses.
Sherman’s latest criticisms of the league in which he plays? Scheduling, what he sees as hypocrisy of the league saying it is concerned with player safety — and even how it edits its official game videos.
Are we sure Sherman always plays on defense?
The Seahawks’ three-time Pro Bowl cornerback remained on the offensive Wednesday against the NFL, the league in which he is on the executive council of the players union, which often finds its interests fundamentally opposite the NFL’s.
In his weekly press conference, Sherman discussed — briefly — his screaming at his defensive coordinator and teammates on the sideline, and at length about Atlanta’s final play in last weekend’s 26-24 Seattle victory.
Sherman stumbled from receiver Julio Jones’ slap, then recovered and raced step for step with Jones on a deep post route. It was fourth-and-10 for Atlanta in the final 2 minutes, with the Seahawks leading 26-24. Matt Ryan’s long pass arched toward Jones and Sherman at midfield. What everyone except the presiding officials saw was Sherman grab Jones’ right arm and pull the receiver’s right side away from the ball before it arrived.
There has been a national debate over that not being called pass interference, which would have given Atlanta the ball in Seattle territory with 90 seconds left.
Sherman has since mentioned more about the front end of the play, which few if anyone noticed at the time.
On Monday night, Sherman posted an image on his Twitter account that showed Jones slapping Sherman’s helmet immediately after the snap, just past the line of scrimmage. If detected by officials that could have been a foul on the Falcons receiver for hands to the face of an opponent.
Sherman typed that he heard “a lot of nonsense about the last play” with the last-play picture tweet. Not long after he posted that on Monday night, Sherman deleted the tweet.
On Wednesday, he jabbed the league over that final play.
“It’s just how people see things,” Sherman said. “Even the NFL played a video and didn’t show the front of the play. ...”
In fact, the league’s official video from the Falcons-Seahawks game — for Showtime cable television’s “Inside the NFL” weekly show — spliced in league footage of Jones running free off the line — in the sun.
It was only sunny at CenturyLink Field for a brief spell earlier in the game, far earlier than Atlanta’s final drive. The editing is sloppy at best. To Sherman, it’s intentionally misleading. And disrespectful.
“That’s just how this league is about defensive players, you know,” Sherman said.
Asked if he believed the omission of Jones’ head slap at the start of the Falcons’ final play was intentional, Sherman didn’t take a breath before answering.
“One-hundred percent intentional,” he said. “That’s just how the league is. It’s an offensive league. They don’t want to help the defense, in the least.
“It’s difficult to recover when you almost fall at the beginning of the play, you get pushed in the face. If I pushed a receiver in the face. I guarantee you it would be the highlight of every “SportsCenter,” every everything, if that was the fourth quarter, the last play and I pushed him in the face.
“But,” Sherman said with a shrug, “it is what it is.
“That’s the league you play in. Fourth-and-10 for the game, you know, they can just throw one up and hope for a flag. And then you deal with that at the end.
“But … we won the game.”
Sherman wasn’t done with what is becoming his weekly jab or three at the NFL.
Sherman criticized the league for the $500 million contract it has with CBS and NBC to broadcast Thursday night games each week of the regular season.
Seattle’s Thursday-night turn is in December at home against Los Angeles, four days after the Seahawks play at Green Bay.
“You’ve got these Thursday night games where everybody is coming off a Sunday game,” Sherman said. “If you could see how players are walking after a Sunday game. … To make them play three, four days later is — and then say you are concerned about player safety — is hilarious in its own right.”
Sherman said the league doesn’t respond to his criticisms.
“They never say anything,” he said.
Not surprisingly, being he is a defensive back, Sherman wants pass-interference fouls in the NFL to be as they are in college. That is, 15 yards against the offending team, be it on offense or defense — and not the spot-of-the-foul penalty it is in the pros.
“An offensive player can stop a turnover and it’s a 10-yard penalty and they might still get the first down,” Sherman said of the NFL rules. “A defensive player, they can say, ‘Oh, he was about to stop a touchdown,’ so they give him a spot foul. That’s the difference.”
Does he think the league will ever make such a change?
“No, it’s not going to change,” Sherman said, “because it’s not affecting the offense. It’s not affecting points being scored. They don’t care if the defense is not getting calls.”
As for his act of anger, defiance and just about insubordination during last weekend’s game, Sherman said there was nothing he regretted or would do differently.
“No,” he said. “Nothing at all.”
That was three days after the superstar screamed at defensive coordinator Kris Richard and teammates following what he called “a mis-check” that should have been communicated better in the third quarter against Atlanta. Sherman was in one coverage and his teammates were in another while Jones ran free behind the confusion for a 36-yard touchdown catch.
Sherman said he and Richard talked after the game and outburst.
“There wasn’t much of a need,” Sherman said. “We had a conversation, but it wasn’t much outside of the norm. I think everything is pretty much understood.”
Any fallout around the locker room over his outburst?
“No. No,” Sherman said. “I mean, we are a ball club. Things happen. We came out with the win, and we move on to the next week.”
Coach Pete Carroll said the same thing.
“No, we’re in good shape,” he said. “Our guys worked that through and we’re in great shape. We’re not worried about it a bit.”
Sherman was asked about any line between being “passionate,” the word he and teammate have used to describe his outburst, and being a distraction for the team.
“I guess it depends on the team situation and who is doing it. I think a lot of people who have never played the game would never understand the difference,” Sherman said. “So it would be difficult for me to explain it to people who have never played.”
Gregg Bell: @gbellseattle