Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman took aim at NFL commissioner Roger Goodell over the NFL's declining television ratings on Thursday, saying the league isn't fun due to the league not allowing players to display their personalities.
Sherman was asked his opinion in the wake of the steep decline in television viewers over the first eight weeks of the season.
Entering Week 9, Monday Night Football ratings are down 20 percent from last season, according to Nielsen data. The Sunday Night Football package is down 18.5 percent and Thursday games are down 21.8 percent.
"Because the league isn't fun anymore," Sherman told reporters. "Every other league, you see the players have a good time. It's a game. This isn't politics. This isn't justice. This is entertainment. And they're no longer allowing the players to entertain.
"They're no longer allowing the players to show any kind of personality, any kind of uniqueness, any individuality. Because they want to control the product. They want to control the messaging, etc., etc.
"They say we're trying to influence kids, and that's their biggest thing. That's their biggest ploy is you don't want to be a bad influence to kids. You don't want to be a bad role model. And I can agree with that. But in the same breath, you can't say Budweiser is the official sponsor of the NFL, and we're trying to influence kids. So there's a ton of hypocrisy, but it doesn't matter because we don't control it."
Sherman said the television ratings are down due to the actions of Goodell and he reiterated again that he feels Goodell is doing a lousy job as commissioner.
Sherman said he has never once heard from Goodell in the past when criticizing him but players from all around the league are in agreement with his opinion of the commissioner.
"More just players understanding that it's the truth and applauding me and saying they wouldn't have said it, but they respect that I said it," Sherman said. "... It's the truth. He hasn't done a great job, and it's obvious. For us to say he hasn't done a great job is beating a dead horse honestly."