SEATTLE – Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman released a video Thursday saying he’s become involved in the players’ union because he doesn’t trust the league.
“We really don’t have reason to trust the NFL, and I don’t think they mind either way,” Sherman said in the video posted on the Players Tribune. “At the end of the day, they’re going to do what they can to make their money, and to make as much money as they can for the owners.”
Sherman said that though the league has put policies in place, incidents like Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton staying in the game after several helmet-to-helmet hits in the league’s season opener demonstrate that player safety isn’t of foremost importance to the NFL.
“If you take the reigning MVP out of the game in the last couple minutes with the game on the line, he’d be frustrated, the fans would be frustrated,” Sherman said. “But it would be in line with what you wanted to see in terms of player safety, but you didn’t because it would affect the ratings because it would affect the game.”
Sherman said many players in the NFL see the league as their ticket out of poverty, so they often don’t give their long-term health the thought it deserves.
“I think a majority of our players don’t come from affluent backgrounds,” he said. “So for them, this is destiny. This is their opportunity to change the stars. The ability to change their family’s lives, to make sure their kids get a better shot at an education. Maybe they’re paying for their kids’ education.
“You can make a lot of money in a short amount of time and change your entire family’s outlook.”
Sherman said he plans to help strengthen the union in an effort to improve players’ lives after they’re out of the NFL.
“You’re gonna get arthritis in your knees, you’re gonna probably have some stress in your back,” he said. “Your ankles are going to pop and crack all the time. It’s just things that come with the territory. Decisions and sacrifices that you know and making coming into the game.
“But the NFL, really, could care less.”