WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — Newly announced highest-paid NFL corner Richard Sherman spoke out against the Redskins name Wednesday, saying he wishes the NBA’s Donald Sterling controversy would have been a catalyst to reignite the conversation over Washington’s controversial team name.
Sherman, speaking with Sean Gregory for Time Magazine, was asked if he though NFL commissioner Roger Goodell would have taken as hard of a stand as NBA commissioner Adam Silver, if an NFL team owner made racial comments similar to those which earned Sterling a lifetime ban.
“No I don’t. Because we have an NFL team called the Redskins,” Sherman said. “I don’t think the NFL really is as concerned as they show. The NFL is more of a bottom line league. If it doesn’t effect their bottom line, they’re not as concerned.”
More Sherman on the Redskins name, via Time:
Do you hope the Sterling incident can be a touchstone to force some change on the Redskins issue?
I would hope it would help. It’d help reinitiate the conversation. And at least there would be another discussion. You know, I think the discussion has stopped. And the public has just accepted it. And I think there should be more conversations. But it is what it is.
You’re confident that the NFL would not have reacted like the NBA did because they already have a team name like the Redskins. So to you, that says a lot, right?
It does. It says a whole lot.”
Onedia Indian Nation representative Ray Halbritter has praised Sherman for his stance, in a statement released Thursday:
“Throughout American history, athletes who have been willing to use their public platform to demand justice have played a critical role in the fight for equality, and Richard Sherman is continuing that tradition,” said Halbritter.
“”By courageously standing up to the league on behalf of the fight for equality and mutual respect, Richard Sherman has not only honored the courage of all the athletes before him who fought for civil rights, he also has sent a powerful wake-up call to the NFL,” he said. “Right now, NFL players are being forced to be a part of an enterprise that insists on profiting off of the promotion of a dictionary-defined racial slur. Richard Sherman has let every player in the NFL know that they don’t have to be silent – they have a right to stand up and say that professional sports should not be marketing and promoting racial slurs.”
Read the full Sherman interview for Time here.