Earlier Thursday, multiple outlets reported that the NFL fined Richard Sherman $9,000 for his late hit on Bills kicker Dan Carpenter during the Seahawks' Monday night win. Sherman confirmed those reports later Thursday, and also went in on the NFL for its decision.
According to Sherman, the NFL made it impossible for him to successfully appeal the fine. He explained below, via The Seattle Times' Bob Condotta:
Sherman said he received a letter from the league informing him of the fine and said the league's reasoning is that Sherman "hit him after the whistle."
Sherman insists there was no whistle, despite the fact that the NFL says there was one.
Sherman said that dispute makes it meaningless to try to fight the fine.
"They made sure they made it unappealable because they said they can't hear the whistle on the film," Sherman said. "And they said I hit him after the whistle, which was not true. But you can't really appeal something that is 'he said, she said."'
The play in question occurred at the tail end of the first half when the Bills lined up for a 53-yard field goal. Sherman jumped offside before the snap and was eventually penalized 5 yards. However, before the officials sorted out the flag, Sherman barreled into Carpenter.
The Bills wanted a flag for that hit, but the officials couldn't penalize Sherman for roughing the kicker because the play was technically over as soon as he was offsides. And they decided not to throw a flag for a late hit. That play sparked a crazy sequence that eventually ended with a missed field goal.
For what it's worth, I went back and re-watched that sequence. I could not hear a whistle before Sherman hit Carpenter. Of course, it's entirely possible the crowd drowned out an earlier whistle, but the only one I heard came after Sherman's hit.
Moving on, Sherman also ripped the NFL for caving to public pressure.
"I mean the league responds to public pressure on a number of issues and they have shown the ability to fold to public pressure," Sherman said. "This is just another one of those opportunities. The public sees things in slow motion, super slow motion, so the league feels a reason to justify things."
Given Sherman doesn't plan on appealing, this appears to mark the end of the controversy. Say what you want about it, but at least it made people care about kickers for once.