The NFL made yet another mistake. No, it’s not the fact that the Super Bowl is being played in cold weather, potentially declining the lure of people who are trying to attend the game. However, it’s the fact that Roger Goodell decided it was a good idea to fine Seattle Seahawks‘ star Richard Sherman for his taunting of San Francisco 49ers‘ receiver Michael Crabtree in a late-game situation in the NFC title game last week.
According to sources, Sherman is being fined $7,875 for his role in the taunting that happens in every game ever played with a majority of athletes.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 24, 2014
I can see that Goodell is trying to make a serious effort of limiting the trash talking in the league and this fine will set up a precedent for those in the future who taunt a player in a high-emotion situation.
This fine couldn’t be more embarrassing for the NFL, however. This just shows that the freedom to say whatever you want is being restricted — even when nothing profane was said by Sherman. Never did he once use a curse word. The only thing he did wrong was portray himself as a crazy person on national TV.
We get it Goodell, you have power. You can weird your money-making sword whenever you want and strike a player when he looks at someone the wrong way. In an emotional situation such as the one Sherman was in, I want to see how many players wouldn’t react the way he did. He went up to Crabtree and said “good game” then slapped his rear. Sure, he caught Crabtree at a bad time and it was kind of a poor move, but he never did anything serious to provoke a shove to the face.
The NFL should be ashamed of this fine and it’s another instance of Goodell reaching his hand in the pocket of one of his money-makers.
Connor Muldowney is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.