Seahawks corner Richard Sherman—fresh off signing a four-year extension including $40 million guaranteed—sat down for an interview with Time in which he was asked how the NFL would react if faced with a situation like the one the NBA confronted with Donald Sterling.
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?
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 affect their bottom line, they're not as concerned.
That's an interesting take, because most observers seem to believe that the NBA's action was financially motivated—sponsors leaving in droves and fan and player outrage added up to the possibility of a serious hit for the league. (Sterling was disciplined, in part, on the basis of a bylaw citing "conduct detrimental to the Association." Read that how you want, but it surely covers financial detriment.)
Presumably if there were a backlash of similar magnitude toward an NFL owner, Goodell would act. And there's obviously no sufficient backlash against the Redskins' team name, which Sherman brought up unprompted. In fact, Sherman believes that controversy's all but over.
Do you hope the Sterling incident can be a touchstone to force some change on the Redskins issue?
I would hope it would help. It'd help reinitiate the conversation. And at least there would be another discussion. You know, I think the discussion has stopped. And the public has just accepted it. And I think there should be more conversations. But it is what it is.