It may have taken six years, but Richard Sherman has had a change of heart about “Thursday Night Football.” Rather, his involvement as a studio Analyst for “Thursday Night Football” would seem to signify a change of heart.
Six years ago, while Sherman was still in his prime as a cornerback with the Seahawks, he had a reputation for speaking his mind about all things NFL — from “mediocre” opponents to player safety issues. Among the things Sherman addressed was the concept of “Thursday Night Football,” something he referred to as a “poopfest” in The Players’ Tribune. Yes, actually.
Six years later, Sherman is a member of the NFL on Prime’s studio crew, joining host Charissa Thompson and three other former NFL players: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tony Gonzalez and Andrew Whitworth.
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Sherman parlayed his Reputation of outspokenness into a career in the media as a podcast host and studio personality. But what is his beef with “Thursday Night Football”? And why did he join Amazon’s crew?
Why does Richard Sherman hate Thursday night football games?
In 2016, Sherman had more analysis to offer than simply referring to the NFL’s Thursday prime-time showing as a “poopfest.”
To explain his disdain, Sherman used words like “ludicrous” and “hypocritical.” He pointed out that the NFL cannot in good faith say that it prioritizes the safety of its players by making them play two games in a five-day span, adding that the league prioritizes itself over anyone else.
Sherman didn’t mince words:
“Thursday Night Football” is just another example of the NFL’s hypocrisy: The league will continue a practice that diminishes the on-field product and endangers its players, but as long as the dollars keep Rolling in, it couldn’t care less … As long as fans are tuning in and advertisers are paying to be Featured on “Thursday Night Football,” it’s not going anywhere.
Sherman made sure to clarify that he was not complaining. He said he was grateful for the opportunity to be an NFL player and acknowledged that the wear and tear on players’ bodies and obligations like “Thursday Night Football” are part of the sacrifice that allows them to make a living.
Sherman also made it clear that he was in search of an alternative.
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Why did Richard Sherman join Amazon’s ‘Thursday Night Football’ studio crew?
Last June — less than six months after he last took the field as a member of the Buccaneers — Prime Video announced that Sherman would be in the studio for “Thursday Night Football” pregame, halftime and postgame shows.
Sherman called the opportunity “the start of something truly special.”
“I’m beyond excited to start this journey with Prime Video and be part of this incredible crew they are assembling,” he said.
Sherman brings the same Personality and Charisma that he carried during his playing career while calling out opponents, challenging media members of the media and criticizing the league.
But he has yet to double down on his criticisms of “Thursday Night Football” since joining the studio crew. Given the nuance of his stance in 2016, perhaps he really has had a change of heart.