Richard Sherman Calls NFL's Concussion Protocol 'Absolute Joke'

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJanuary 11, 2018

SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 31: Cornerback Richard Sherman #25 of the Seattle Seahawks walks on the sidelines in the third quarter against the Arizona Cardinals at CenturyLink Field on December 31, 2017 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman called the NFL's concussion protocol an "absolute joke" and said the policy is more for public relations than to actually protect the players.

"It's for public opinion, for them to show the public that they care about the players, they care about player safety," Sherman said in a Players Tribune video posted Thursday. "In a show of good faith and goodwill, they said we're going to have an independent trauma expert, an independent neurologist, approve people, and the same things are happening that were happening before."

Sherman used air quotes throughout the video when discussing "the players" and "player safety" to denote his sarcastic tone. He used an example of Houston Texans quarterback Tom Savage being allowed to re-enter a game after being obviously concussed in a December game against the San Francisco 49ers.

The Texans received widespread public criticism for allowing Savage to come back into the game, though he was pulled again on the following series. The team was found to have not been in violation of the NFL's concussion policy.

"The NFL and NFLPA recognize that Mr. Savage's return to the game did not reflect the expected outcome of the Protocol," a statement read. "As such, the parties have agreed that no discipline will be assessed, but have already implemented several improvements to the Protocol to prevent such an unacceptable outcome in the future."

Sherman said the league, not the Texans, should face criticism for its "independent" policy. He also indicated he would not be donating his brain to science after his death.

The Seahawks were fined $100,000 for not following concussion protocol in a November game against the Arizona Cardinals.  Quarterback Russell Wilson missed just one play and was not examined for a concussion after he took a hit from Cardinals linebacker Karlos Dansby.