Richard Sherman rips NFL for catering to gamblers with league injury report system

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has emphasized on multiple occasions that the NFL wants nothing to do with legalized gambling. 

Apparently, Richard Sherman doesn't believe him, because the Seahawks corner blasted the NFL on Wednesday over the league's injury report system.

The way Sherman sees it, the NFL injury report system only benefits gamblers. 

"From what I understand, the rules are for gamblers, for Vegas to make sure the odds and everything are what they are supposed to be, which is apparently what the league is concerned about when talking about injuries and things like that," Sherman said, via the Seattle Times. "So maybe someone should look into that, because, I thought we weren't a gambling league or were against all of those things. But our injury report is specifically to make sure the gamblers get their odds right."

Although the NFL is allowing one of its teams (the Raiders) to move to Las Vegas, which is a little weird for a league that's so opposed to gambling, Goodell has insisted that the move won't result in any change to the NFL's gambling policy, which currently prohibits all players from gambling on the NFL.

"We don't see changing our current policies," Goodell said at the league meetings in March. "We still strongly oppose [among owners] legalized sports gambling. The integrity of our game is number one. We will not compromise on that."

Goodell also said he wants to make sure fans have full confidence in the product they see on the field.  

"We have to make sure that we continue to stay focused on making sure that everyone has full confidence that what you see on the field is not influenced by any outside factors," Goodell said. "That is our number-one concern. That goes to what I consider the integrity of the game. We will not relent on that."

Of course, the NFL's insistence on protecting the integrity of the game might actually benefit gamblers, as one UNLV research paper noted in 2013

"By constantly preaching about the integrity of the game, the NFL makes gamblers feel that the game is a completely fair contest in which they can safely wager their money," the paper says. 

Basically, by producing injury reports, there's unlikely to be any type of "insider trading" that you sometimes find on the stock market. For instance, if someone knew for sure whether Sam Bradford was going to play this week, they could gain an advantage because they could place a bet using information that other people don't have. 

"By making all injury reports public, the NFL is leveling the playing field among all gamblers by not allowing people with inside information to profit from it," the paper says. 

Even if Sherman has never read that research paper, he seems to agree with the principle of it. During his rant on Wednesday, the Seahawks corner said that injury reports are basically  "meaningless things on paper." 

"Even though you are going to play or whatever it is, they've got to put that his ankle is sore, his hip is sore or he's got a bruise on his hand," Sherman said. "But guys are tough -- if you are going to play, what's the point (of having an injury report)?"

After Sherman pointed out that the injury report was for gamblers, someone pointed out that it also helped people playing fantasy football, and let's just say that Sherman was not amused by that piece of information. 

"Fantasy football, oh my God," Sherman said. "They are almost as bad as the gamblers."

Sherman has been on the Seahawks injury report every week this season, which is actually kind of rare. The All-Pro corner has never missed a game during his career with in Seattle, which dates back to 2011. 

Oh, and for any gamblers who might be reading, the Seahawks are currently a 2.5-point underdog for Sunday's game in Tennessee, and Sherman (hamstring) has been listed on this week's injury report. 

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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