Cornerback Richard Sherman has become the latest athlete to accuse a professional journalist of making up quotes out of thin air. The NFL is now accusing Sherman of being a little too flippant with his comments regarding the misuse of a prescription stimulants.
As MDS pointed out earlier in the day, Sherman now says he didn’t say that half the league is using Adderall, an ADD drug that appears on the list of banned substances negotiated by the NFL and the NFLPA. But Sherman still said plenty about the substance while appearing on NFL Network.
“There’s a bunch of guys in the league on prescription for Adderall, so what — you know, I’ve never seen people get prescribed a performance-enhancing drug, you know what I mean?” Sherman said. “So I don’t understand, you know, what everybody is so — you know, they go so crazy about it when some of these guys test positive for it, but a bunch of guys have prescriptions for it, so it’s, like, you know, kind of misleading.”
The league believes that Sherman is the one who’s being kind of misleading, both in the things he has said and the things he now says he didn’t say.
“The comments are ill-informed and inaccurate,” the league said in a statement that was forward to PFT. “Adderall is easily detected under current testing and will result in a suspension absent an approved therapeutic use exemption. If his statement were true, we would be seeing many more positive tests and suspensions. More importantly, his comments are irresponsible, as they ignore the serious medical risks and documented public health crisis associated with the improper use of Adderall and similar drugs.”
Regardless of the specific words Sherman has chosen, his nonchalant attitude regarding Adderall use could be interpreted as an effort to reduce the stigma that has attached to Sherman via his own positive test by reducing the overall stigma that applies to the drug. Though Sherman beat the suspension on appeal, plenty of people believe he took it, tested positive for it, and escaped the suspension on a technicality.
So by taking the position that it’s no big deal to use Adderall, maybe people will think it’s no big deal that Sherman tested positive for it. Even though he still says he didn’t take it.