Sports Illustrated- Seahawks players Richard Sherman and Doug Baldwin mocked the NFL's media policies and player safety concerns in a skit during their press conference Tuesday.
Sherman stood beside the podium while Baldwin held a cardboard cutout of himself.
For roughly two minutes, Sherman and Baldwin satirized the NFL's media policies. Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch was fined $100,000 last week for refusing to talk to the media. Lynch did address the media after Sunday's game, but gave only one-word answers.
My reaction to this is similar to my reaction on the Marshawn Lynch interview where he strictly gave one word answers. Both scenarios involve players openly mocking the NFL for a variety of reasons. Honestly, I like this. There are only two reactions the NFL can possibly have, and both of them kind of prove the player's point. The NFL can choose not to fine them, which proves how silly the media requirements are in the first place, or they can fine them and prove everything that Richard Sherman said was correct.
It is no secret that the NFL is primarily a business. An entertainment business, but a business none the less. That's why every decision is based on the bottom line. That's why Goodell and company are forcing players to wear Bose headphones when the players clearly prefer Beats By Dre. It's why every other commercial is for Campbell's Soup and Subway. If Goodell had it his way, the NFL would be filled with a bunch of personality-less player's that continual spout the company line and stay true to 'protecting the shield'. Which, business wise, makes complete sense. All the cube dwelling
9-5ers routinely speak highly of the company that pays them, and covers their medical and dental expenses. Unfortunately being a professional football player differs greatly from your average salaried job. The NFL, up until recently, never gave a rat's ass about player safety. You think that issue popped up over night? Fuck no. The emphasis on it has come about following the death of former players and a truck load of lawsuits. These player's contracts aren't guaranteed. You can tell me how important the health of the player's is, but having them play (mostly low quality) games on 4 days rest is directly contrary to that notion. Pushing for an extra two games per season inversely correlates with the safety of the players. Half these guys barely make it through a 16 game season, plus playoffs, as is.
The idea that these guys must speak with the media and constantly repeat vanilla answers is insane. Fans want to hear the controversial stuff. The stuff Roger Goodell hands out fines for. The stuff media outlets ridicule them for. I would rather hear Marshawn Lynch talk about nothing and Richard Sherman mock the NFL then have them constantly roll out snooze worthy politically correct answers. That's part of the fun of the NFL. Yeah, the game itself is great, but the personalities enhance the product ten fold. So while their personalities keep money in Goodell's pocket, they end up taking that same money out of their own. For a league that constantly judges their employees on what is acceptable and unacceptable, they certainly don't hold themselves to the same standard.
Some people may say that with million dollar contracts come a certain amount of responsibilities. Such as the requirement to engage the media, maintaining a certain wardrobe, using certain products, conducting themselves in a socially acceptable manner.However, those monster contracts are few and far between, and the stability they provide is nearly non-existent. You have to respect the players risking their money to take a stand for what they believe in, especially against a league whose success is based primarily off their hard work on the field and their personas off the field.