Super Bowl Bound Richard Sherman Says NFL Should Talk To Media


NFL players are required by rule to speak to the media after games and this week at Super Bowl media week. Richard Sherman had some sound advice for the NFL. Live what you preach.

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The NFL has seen fit to fine players who refuse to cooperate with post-game interviews and none has been as high-profile as Seattle Seahawk running back Marshawn Lynch. In fact Lynch has perfected the one word interview. Asked questions today at media week Lynch answered every question the same, “you all know why I’m here”. Ask him if he likes his mother, “you all know why I’m here”.

Sherman opted to stick up for Lynch and all NFL players who are subjected to the media each and every week of their season throughout their career. Sherman told the media today that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell should have to talk to the media weekly as well. As should other executives of the NFL. While it’s likely to fall on deaf ears it makes sense.

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I could never understand why corporations demand their employees to do things they themselves are not willing to do. Hiding behind their status. In the case of the NFL there is plenty that the media could ask the Commissioner each week. There is no reason why Roger Goodell can’t hold a 10-15 minute press conference on the state of the NFL each week. It would send a message to the players that he himself is not above them and let’s face it, his tenure as commissioner surely has displayed the fact he thinks he is.

Players like Lynch and Sherman are only the start and it’s heading towards a volatile situation that the NFL will need to address with something other than fines. They need to recognize that players shouldn’t have to discuss every aspect of their game or a game or their contract situations or anything else if they don’t want to. At least not if the higher ups refuse to do the same. That same thought should also apply to the owners as well.

Why should Stephen Ross be allowed to quietly escape the stadium after a very bad loss without answering questions from the media on his feelings about that game? Why should Joe Philbin be allowed to end his season and then disappear into the background and not be forced to speak to the media about the state of the team? Some will say that it should be only in the confines of the season and the NFL does mandate coaches be available for weekly and sometimes daily press conferences. Again, they don’t hold themselves to the same standard.

The past two seasons have been a huge black eye for the NFL. They have dealt with major changes following the fallout of Miami’s “bully-gate”, 2014’s Ray Rice video and Adrian Peterson suspension, and yet they take no responsibility to speak to the media instead hiding behind the league itself. I would love to see Roger Goodell stand in front of a group of reporters and say, “I’m not going to discuss that” over and over again.

Nothing is going to change though. The NFL will not open themselves to that kind of scrutiny but at some point they need to stop forcing players to take to the microphone and answer questions they don’t want to answer. Most players have no issues talking to the media but some do and that shouldn’t be a pre-requisite for holding their jobs and they shouldn’t be fined $20 K when they refuse.