During the Friday broadcast of ESPN2’s “First Take,” co-host Stephen A. Smith reacted to Seattle Seahawks corner back Richard Sherman saying the NFL is not fun anymore because the league has shut down excessive celebrations and individuality.
While he admitted some white players have an issue with the level of control in the NFL, Smith said black players in particular have an “issue” with the rules limiting celebrations and dress.
“African-American players in particular have an issue with the level of control [NFL Commissioner] Roger Goodell exercises,” Smith stated. “That’s not to say white players don’t have that issue — the Drew Brees of the world, Eric Winston, who works in the [NFL] Players Association, and others, of course, it is not just confined to black players. I’m talking about the issue of control — the socks you wear, the shoes you wear, the celebrations, how you are penalized, how arbitrary the rulings are on the part of officials in terms of when some guys get penalized and other guys don’t.”
“It’s not that you are not doing it to other people, don’t get me wrong, but those black players on the football field, any time you have rules and regulations that seem to be a bit excessive, it speaks to the issue of control. And African-American players are going have a problem with that,” he explained.
Follow Trent Baker on Twitter @MagnifiTrent