When the Seahawks play the Cardinals in Arizona Sunday evening, a lot of eyes will be on cornerback Richard Sherman.
We find out why in this week’s conversation between knkx sports commentator Art Thiel and 88.5’s Kirsten Kendrick.
In The Headlines
Sherman has been in the sports headlines a lot in recent weeks.
"Richard's a bright, bold guy. He's not afraid of controversy," Thiel said. "He's been a part of it since his career began, I think.
"Most recently he's taken on some issues with Black Lives Matter and the conduct of police regarding the shooting of African-Americans.
"A couple of weeks ago, he had a video on a website called The Players Tribune in which he castigated the NFL for its disregard of player safety.
"He says as long as the NFL continues to have games on Thursday, they don't care about player safety. Richard and many other players say the body cannot recover in three days' time from a Sunday car wreck, which is basically what your body feels like after a football game."
The Seahawks' controversial win over the Falcons last Sunday generated even more headlines for Sherman. It started with a blow-up on the Seahawks' sideline.
"That's something I've never seen before — at least with these Seahawks," Thiel said.
"The Seahawks were ahead 17-3 in the third quarter over the Atlanta Falcons last Sunday when, because of a miscommunication between Sherman and the replacement for injured Kam Chancellor, Kelcie McCray, the star receiver for the Falcons, Julio Jones, escaped on a 36-yard touchdown pass.
"Sherman came off the field upset. And his boss, the defensive coordinator Kris Richard, was screaming at him. Sherman screamed back. He took off his helmet. He threw it down. He confronted Richard. He confronted teammates who were gathered around. They tried to separate the two. There were some angry words and pushing and shoving. Sherman was completely agitated.
"Subsequent to that episode, Atlanta scored two more touchdowns in the third quarter. It looked like the game was in the balance. But they pulled it together. They shut down the Falcons in the fourth quarter. And there was Richard, again, on the final play of the game, involved in yet another controversy."
"The Falcons were down to their 4th and 10 final play - a Hail Mary, a long pass to, again, Julio Jones," Thiel continued. "Sherman dropped into coverage and managed to knock the ball away. But, clearly, the replay showed that he interfered with Jones' ability to catch the ball.
"It should've been a pass interference penalty. First down for the Falcons. Didn't get called.
"Sherman said after the game that regardless of what he did, people don't understand what happened in the whole play. And it turned out the video replay showed that Sherman was right.
"At the beginning of the play, Jones took his hand and swatted Sherman's helmet and nearly knocked him off his feet. That should've been a hands-to-the-face penalty."
"But on an NFL-approved highlight show on Showtime, the editors substituted the start of another play and attached it to the pass interference penalty at the end," Thiel said.
"You could tell because the play started in sunshine and then ended in overcast! And the weather didn't change that fast!
"The NFL deliberately tried to alter the content of that play to make Sherman out to be the bad guy. Now, the NFL hasn't responded, but it's clear that this is a reprehensible act that the NFL is trying to put out propaganda to serve an agenda.
"Sherman said the NFL is out to help the offense, hurt the defense; [that] they don't care about fairness and honesty in the conduct of the game. And that bit of editing certainly seems to bear him out.
"And it's always happening with Sherman. So, I'm calling him 'The Sports World's Most Interesting Man.' Without the beer."