On Monday, teammate and wide receiver Doug Baldwin agreed with Sherman's comments:
I think it's absurd,” Baldwin said, according to the News Tribune. “I understand Roger Goodell and his safety council, or whoever they are, they're trying to do this with good intentions. … Maybe.
But, if you look at it, the only people who say the N-word on the football field are African-Americans. Whether whoever wants to agree with it or not, we have turned it kind of into a term of endearment.
“So, for the rule to specifically to hone in on one word, it's kind of odd to me when there's so many other things that are more offensive that have been said on the football field.
That word, like you've heard many guys say, they've never heard it towards them in a disrespectful way (on the field). It's more of a term of endearment. Never heard it from the opposite race, so the only people they are really going at are African-Americans.”
The ruling - on the face of it - seems like a good idea. Nobody really wants to hear that word and everybody knows the terrible history it possesses in America.
However, as Baldwin says, the word has changed now, and who are a bunch of white referees and white NFL lawmakers to say what the players - who are largely African-American - can and cannot say to teammates and opposition.