Richard Sherman blames NFL executives for drop in ratings

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman aired numerous grievances at Roger Goodell and the NFL's feet during his Thursday press conference but perhaps, his newest criticism comes due to the NFL's lower-than-normal ratings.

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Sherman's take plays off the NFL's years-long mission to excommunicate fun from their league. So why are the ratings dropping Mr. Sherman?

"Because the league isn't fun anymore," he said. "Every other league, you see the players have a good time. It's a game. This isn't politics. This isn't justice. This is entertainment. And they're no longer allowing the players to entertain. They're no longer allowing the players to show any kind of personality, any kind of uniqueness or individuality, because they want to control the product. They want to control the messaging."

Coincidentally, politics and justice is exactly why his head coach -- Pete Carroll -- thinks the decline is on, because of how the NFL started its wild season.

"I don't know. I think there's a lot going on in the country. A lot of stuff has been going on that's drawing people's attention. I don't think we got off to a very good start with the demonstrations," Carroll said. "That really was just a setback. I can understand why people might have been turned away from it. I don't know that those are the issues. But, it just felt like there was a lot of turmoil that was going on around the country and kind of publicly as the season started and it sounds like people have turned away a little bit."

The two theories doesn't have to be an either/or situation. Both the NFL's cranky attitude towards any semblance of a good time and the controversies that headlined the start of their season can play a factor in TV's going off. But if you're closer to Sherman's side, the finger wagging at entertainment as improper might strike you as odd, even hypocritical. 

"They say we're trying to influence kids," he said. "That's their biggest thing, their biggest ploy is that you don't want to be a bad influence to kids. You don't want to be a bad role model. And, I can agree with that. But, in the same breath, you can't say Budweiser is the official sponsor of the NFL and we're trying to influence kids. There's a ton of hypocrisy but it doesn't matter because we don't control it."

So how do you fix the "No Fun League?" Well, the NBA might have the right idea according to Sherman.

"I think the NBA made an adjustment. Their players were unhappy. They went on strike. They got a new commissioner. New commissioner has made it a lot more fun," he said. "He's a lot more lenient on the guys. They're out there shooting 3's and putting whatever signs up. They have personality. You think of James Harden; if you do that in the NFL, you might get fined."

Sherman thinks the suits at the top just don't have their pulse on the game and how it should be played because they've never played at the highest level. Interestingly enough, the new NBA commissioner, Adam Silver, who Sherman credited with the NBA's new fun era never played professional basketball.

Although, Silver seems to have a much more amicable relationship with his players and their association and as a result trends likelier to implement their suggestions into the product.

Still, whatever the issues in the NFL may be. They're praying they level off during the second half of the season.

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