Richard Sherman

Richard Sherman Sounds off on Goodell’s Ejection Rule

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman has never been one for keeping his opinions to himself, on or off the field. His latest target is not a player, but rather NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who recently floated the possibility of giving officials the power to eject players that commit two unsportsmanlike penalties in one game.

“I think it’s foolish,” Sherman told ESPN. “But it sounds like something somebody who’s never played the game would say…because he doesn’t understand. He’s just a face, he’s just a suit. He’s never set foot on the field and understood how you can get a personal foul.”

Any rule that could prove an obstacle to staying on the field until the final whistle is likely to draw the same ire from fellow players as it has from Sherman. But the NFL seems to have turned a corner on the issue of player safety this offseason, appearing very strict on the matter of playing within the rules to ensure games don’t get out of hand.

The first blow was landed when Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict has his appeal of a three-game suspension thrown out by the league, which has a history of leniency when it comes to on-field indiscretions. The move proved to many sceptics that the NFL was finally prepared to stand its ground on punishments handed down to undisciplined players.

And while the mechanics of this new ejection rule are yet to be hammered out (the Competition Committee will consider the proposal during its annual meeting commencing this Sunday), it is another positive step towards eradicating unlawful activity in a game perpetually brimming with pent-up anger.

The sign of any good disciplinary measure is in its effectiveness as a deterrent, not as a punishment. If the rule passes, players that like to cross the line between gamesmanship and foul play will have to straighten up fast if they want to stay on the field and help their team win. Sorry Mr. Sherman, this is one war of the words you might not win.

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