Richard Sherman likely to sue league if suspended

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Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman continues to wait for the ruling on his appeal of a four-game suspension for a violation of the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy.

It’s been over a month since it was first reported that Sherman and teammate Brandon Browner were facing suspensions for testing positive for a banned substance. Browner dropped his appeal and will be eligible to return for the playoffs, but Sherman has continued to fight his positive test.

Even if the decision (expected on Thursday) goes against Sherman and he is suspended by the league, he plans on continuing his fight. Sherman said Wednesday that he will continue to explore other legal options and could ultimately end up suing the league.

“I can’t get back playing regardless. I can just sue the league, and that’s probably what I’m going to do if they suspend me,'” Sherman said.

Adam Schefter of ESPN has reported that Sherman’s appeal was based around a supposed break in procedure in the collection process. The cup used to collect Sherman’s urine sample was apparently broken, requiring a second cup to be placed underneath to prevent leakage. The seal on the second cup was also broken.

Sherman tweeted on Christmas some more thoughts on the basis of his appeal to the league.

Hoping we play in a just League @nfl. Not a league that allows a tester to mix urine samples. A tester with a history of errors. Has has had to have 6 other tests thrown out and he has only been testing 6months,” he tweeted.

Sherman was also asked Wednesday about his thoughts on how the appeal has played out to this point.

“It’s been pretty standard other than the league telling you they can break rules,” Sherman said. “They don’t care if you took it or you didn’t take it, if the sample is tainted or it isn’t tainted, they said it doesn’t matter. The collective bargaining, there’s policies, there’s rules in the policies that they said should not apply to them and they wrote them. That’s just how the league does things.”

With the track record of PED suspensions being overturned, it appears likely that Sherman will be suspended on Thursday. While he won’t have a recourse to get the four games back, Sherman appears adamant in continuing this fight in whatever fashion he has to.

If he’s suspended, Seattle could get Sherman back in time for the Super Bowl if they play in the first round of the playoffs. If they manage to backdoor into the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye with San Francisco and Green Bay losses this weekend, Sherman’s season would be over.

79 responses to “Richard Sherman likely to sue league if suspended

  1. The league may want to think long and hard about this, last time the courts got involved (star caps) it got ugly. Sherman may just get off.

  2. Uh oh, Roger’s started more mess that he can’t finish. I hope Sherman sues and wins. Whether he’s guilty or just posturing, i’ll support anything to get Goodell replaced ASAP

  3. “A tester with a history of errors. Has has had to have 6 other tests thrown out and he has only been testing 6months,” he tweeted.”

    If this is true and he is suspended, then yes, I would sue BIG TIME also…….

  4. Did anyone know the Seagulls stadium is not loud because of thier fans but because of the stadium design and piped in noise even the stadium architecht has stated so..I mean honestly how many Seacluck fans have you met in your life..The Seahawks have not won a Sb ever since they were brought into the league as an EXPANSION team..The only years the Seaclucks were division champs was when the three other teams in the division had under 500 records..Have you ever been to downtown Seattle? Place is dead as a graveyard after 9 pm..Why does everyone in Seattle look like thier about to go camping? Seattle has been one of the cities in the top 10 worst sports cities in America the past ten years but their fans is why its so loud thier? Lol…Seattle could fall into the ocean and the rest of the country wouldnt notice for at least a week…Seattle thinks they are a big city but there is suburbs of SF and LA that have bigger populations..Seattle has a website to websites dedicated to it you can google both if you dont believe me one is I hate Seattle and Seattle sucks..It basically a collection of people from other parts of the country who have had to spend time there and reasons they cant stand it..So stand up Seattle…your weather sucks your city sucks your boring and none of your teams have ever won a thing!

  5. I can’t believe we’re talking about a lawsuit over a cracked cup.

    “Who cracked this alleged cup? And why? And if this alleged cup had a crack in it, at what point did it cease to be a cup?”

    “Your Honor…. Members of the jury…. I submit that if the cup had a crack, the test was whack.”

    “The decision lies in your hands. Thank you and God bless.”

  6. How did the cup get broken? Seriously. How does a hard plastic container get cracked when you’re peeing into it? Sherman probably did it because he knew he was guilty! Cheater!

  7. Couldn’t they just wait until the beginning of next season for Sherman to serve the suspension? Let him play out the season.

    It just seems counterproductive for the NFL to have one of the best DBs in the game right now on the sidelines during the playoffs.

  8. Why doesn’t the NFL use a rule from *(gasp)* the MLS. No players are suspended from the title game, but the suspension is carried over to next season, with it all being at the leagues discretion if someone is retiring or a more serious violation, etc.

  9. I hate to break it to you Richard, but using a second cup won’t result in a Adderall magically appearing in your urine…

    If you noticed the seal was broken you should have spoke up at the time.

  10. “He has had to have 6 other tests thrown out and he has only been testing 6months,” he tweeted.”

    Sounds like this moron should lose his damn job and no suspension for Sherman.

  11. “The collective bargaining, there’s policies, there’s rules in the policies that they said should not apply to them and they wrote them. That’s just how the league does things.”

    Doesn’t he know that it takes two to collectively bargain?

  12. I bet if it was early in the season he’d take the suspension, but now that he will likely miss the playoffs he’s pissed. Should’ve gone along with his teammate, has no one to blame but himself!

  13. he needs to just man up and take his suspension. pushing it this far will only hurt the team as he will be out in the playoffs.

    wasn’t his original excuse that he drank out of the same water bottle as a team mate using roids????
    now he is claiming that his test was tampered with????
    this cheater and LIER needs to stop this bs and move on before he embarrasses his team, city and family as he has embarrassed his reputation!!!!

  14. Translation: Roger Goodell does not want the team from “South Alaska” in the Super Bowl, so the league will break it’s own rules if it has to in order to keep the defensive player of the year off the field. Total corruption.

  15. With all the problems that occurred with his test, the NFL should admit procedure was broken, and just drop the case. Just what the nfl needs is a player suing, and winning, but also showing how unfair the league really is. Quietly fire this tester, and move on.

  16. Regardless of whether he’s guilty or not, this is a smart move by Sherman. He’s publicly putting pressure on the NFL have the ruling overturned. I’m really curious to see what the NFL is going to do

  17. Even as a Ram fan, using a “cup with a broken seal” to catch the cup of the “first test” after it left his hands seems shady…especially regarding the guys history.

    If Sherman really took it to gain a strategic advantage, then he should be punished.

    If not, especially with the questionable testing and he really does have an active prescription, let him go.

    But heres my question as someone with ADD/ADHD – I don’t claim to be a pharmacist, but if adderall contains a banned substance, why not prescribe players a different medicine? Like Welbutrin? I’ve taken this medicine and it works well without keeping you up for hours at a night…or is that the secret intention..

  18. Whoa Jonathan Vilma has opened the door for all lawsuits to happen.

    I don’t think the league wants to deal with a Standford educated young man. He already understands all the legal talk and the games the league can play.

  19. How can anyone who has screwed up 6 different samples in a 6 month period of time, even still have this job?!
    Is this what being PC, and cutting everyone slack has come down to? Is this what giving everyone a trophy no matter how bad they suck has evolved in to?
    They are messing with Sherm’ livelihood…You would think they could get someone besides Goodell’s son to administer the tests!

  20. How is it that this guy gets to appeal and drag things out and keep playing, and yet Jordan Black apparently has no recourse and he’s just out in the cold?

    This system is seriously messed up, and the NFL is looking worse every day over this issue.

  21. NFL fans have already cast their ‘guilty’ vote by not selecting Sherman to the Pro Bowl. Sure, he’s outspoken, but it really is undeniable that he’s a top three corner in the NFL, let alone the NFC.

  22. I am disappointed in all you east coast haters. Were is all the smack talk about Sherman and PEDS and not “deserving” a Pro Bowl selection??? I thought we lived in a society where you were innocent until “proven” guilty? Not any more. Certainly not with haters who are haters because they actually FEAR the Hawks. Sherman is the best CB in the game and for him not to be in the Pro Bowl proves all the games people play.

  23. Even if he’s suspended, his appeal would still be worth it considering he got to play on Sunday night against the 49ers and take a massive steaming smelly dump in Jim Harbaugh’s mouth LMAO!

  24. He’s a cheater and so is the other cb he should have just taken the suspension!! Now he’s all sad he won’t be eligible for playoffs… Haha cheater check chancler to!! Guaranteed roids just like the other 2 j cats! Not adderall you idiots get a new excuse

  25. If it were DNA, would a sample convict him to get the death penalty? If not, what are they doing to give him cups inside cups? How about if it’s a San Fran ref that’s applying the test,

  26. Can we all agree that that mini rant norcalmafia had against Seattle was amazingly amusing? Just a tremendous lack of spelling, grammar and cohesive thought. Made my day.

  27. Rules of evidece…. oh, that’s right, this is the NFL and serial-SPAM emailer Goodell gets to accuse innocent individuals on the Saints about Bountygate without evidence. Send that turkey back to the Jets PR department!

  28. Rules of evidence…. oh, that’s right, this is the NFL and serial-SPAM emailer Goodell gets to accuse innocent individuals on the Saints about Bountygate without evidence. Send that turkey back to the Jets PR department!

  29. Rainger: One year in the league and you are giving him the title of “Best CB in the League to have played”? Wow…you really have no clue…stay classy and try to look like you have at least a Ninth Grade Education.

  30. chaseutley says: Dec 26, 2012 11:51 PM

    I can’t believe we’re talking about a lawsuit over a cracked cup

    Everytime I’ve had to take a urine test at a doctor’s office they’ve taken extra protection to ensure the bottle is sealed and carefully transported for good reason. They don’t want to get sued for wrongly reporting a person has a serious disease. To answer your question chaseutly when the bottle of urine is potentiality worth millions of dollars (the cost of a 4 game suspension) I would expect it to be handled with the utmost care.

    I know some of you have had to give urine samples during the hiring process to check for drugs while applying for a job. Some may even have to do it periodically at your current position. I wonder what you would do if you fired or denied a job under similar circumstances.

  31. The whole thing points to the need for a separate Judicial system in the NFL. The owners rules committee functions as legislative, commissioner administrative, but to put essentially the prosecutor in charge of handing out unchecked punishments with no semblance of due process is simply un-American. The NFL is a multi Billion dollar business, and competitive fairness demands better, for the fans and the owners. Regardless of Shermans’ guilt, innocence, or the outcome of the appeal, he deserves presumption of innocence, to present and cross examine witnesses, and examine the evidence against him before the substantial suspension was handed down.

  32. And I cannot believe the man up and take your medicine crowd is still around. Real men fight not curl up in a fetal position when a challenge is placed in front of them. Good thing the Saints players did that. Regardless if you think they’re guilty or not them fighting at least showed how amateurish Mr. “50,000 pieces of evidence ” Goodall runs the league.

  33. Oh, and concerning the City of Seattle itself—norcalmafia is absolutely correct. Speaking for Lesser Seattle, it is a completely miserable place to live, and if you visit when the weather is nice, don’t be fooled, and definitely don’t move there under any circumstances! It may seem Boeing, Microsoft, and multiple cutting edge company’s offer better opportunities, but their are locals getting educated to fill them. No income tax and coming late and leaving early from the recession might sound attractive, but the cost of living is outrageous! That’s because they are so snooty about quality of life, like the environment, oh and culture (whatever that is??) You know you’re not welcome when the won’t even destroy their mountains, forests, and water to make a cheap place for you to live! Terrible sports is right too–Sonics couldn’t bully them and left, and poor Paul Allen had to cough up lots of his own money to build Century Link. So stay put, and don’t like the Seahawks, the chip on their shoulder attitude seems to be serving them well.

  34. First of all, is there any proof the tester is as incompetent as Sherman claims, or is it just his words on Twitter that we are expected to believe?

    Second of all, I agree with those who say he should have taken his suspension prior to the playoffs, rather than hurt his team to prove his supposed innocence.

  35. Being in the Military I have to do urine samples at random all the time. In 2011, I was selected 13 times, and twice in a week (right before I deployed, too) to provide a sample. I don’t know how the NFL does it, but they have a piece of paper that has my name, social security number, and the controlled ID number. Those are also matched on a sticker that is put on to my cup sample. I have the right to inspect the bottle to ensure nothing is broken on it and and that it is 100% clean. After I provide my sample, they put a tamper proof seal on it that YOU have to put your initials on.

    If the NFL does the same thing, I fail to see how Sherman can win this. He is responsible for all of that stuff, unless they admitted to breaking it by dropping it or whatever. If he actually seen the man put another cup under it because of the broken bottle, he had the right to tell him that and tell him he wants another bottle to take another sample. If he didn’t see it, then he has no evidence to support it. You can’t use someone’s past history to make it your base argument. It doesn’t work that way.

  36. “Did anyone know the Seagulls stadium is not loud because of thier fans but because of the stadium design and piped in noise even the stadium architecht has stated so.………”

    Really, dude? This is the best BS you can come-up with, norcalmafia?

    Ya, it’s all stadium design that makes it so loud, even if I went down there right now @4AM thurs. morning the Clink is so loud it would physically hurt my ears like being at a rock concert, just like it did Sunday Night when I was there… Sorry, Santa Clara 49ers fan (speaking of all your suburb-talk in your post, it funny your team moving to suburbs 🙂 )

    I was also at 2005 NFC Championship Game against Carolina at the Clink. Loudest event I’ve been to, and I’ve been to a lot of rock concerts in my day. Clink doesn’t need piped-in noise.

    Hey norcalmafia we actually won that NFC championship game in 2005 and went on to Superbowl… When is last time U Santa Clara 49ers did that? Wait they played in it last year, but, but………

    Don’t worry, Seattle, with or without Sherman, will make sure you don’t make it to another Superbowl until after U have abandoned San Francisco for the suburbs 😉

    Cue the “5 Trophies” blather now………blah blah blah

    Question is — What have you done for me lately ???

  37. Tis the season for purple drank, twitter, and letting the typically sued do the suing!

  38. Everyone who thinks the NFL is “worried” that he is a Stanford grad must think the NFL employs lawyers from Herzing or Phoenix university…..wake up.

    Oh and never mind that his teammate, of the same position, tested positive for the SAME drug. A terrible coincidence I’m sure.

    One took the suspension like a man and the other is whining like a baby.

  39. Don’t know why people are talking about his Standford “education”. Just because he graduated from there doesnt mean he’s smart. That goes along with every other student athlete, its been proven that most of them are babied throughout college. His excuse proves it…first it was because he drank a teammate’s water bottle, then now he’s blaming it on the tester. Quit flip flopping because it only makes you look more guilty.

  40. This will be the new norm for NFL players. If you can’t get a suspension lifted, sue the league. You can thank the cheater Saints for that. Did any of the players even read a tiny bit of the agreement they signed off on 2 years ago?

  41. coolzog says: Dec 27, 2012 12:14 AM

    I hate to break it to you Richard, but using a second cup won’t result in a Adderall magically appearing in your urine…

    If you noticed the seal was broken you should have spoke up at the time.
    Who says the seal was broken when Richard handed it over???
    I hope you guys do understand players aren’t standing watch from transportation to lab to make sure no tampering or mishandling of their samples are done. It’s silly you guys even think that way.

  42. Great CB I agree he’s a top CB thus far in the NFL, though Seahawks CBs are notorious for a lot of hand contact. Being a Stanford alum/fan, I cant believe this guys lack of class. And he used the he ‘accidentally’ took Adderall excuse from his teammates cup, now he’s blaming the NFL for it?… Though I dont doubt the NFL will probably drop the ball on this just like Bountygate.

  43. Why didn’t he just take his lumps 4 weeks ago, and come back to the playoffs like Browner did? It doesn’t make any sense to appeal and put yourself above your team by prolonging the inevitable suspension. It will serve you right to miss the playoffs by being a selfish player to your team, and your fans. Enjoy watching your team in the playoffs on your high def at home this year.

  44. He has a case. This is unbelievably sloppy collection procedure. The sample should have been thrown out, and the person who took it needs to be either fired or re-trained. (If it’s OK with the NFL to take samples this way, they need to change their standards.)

    For those of you who think he should be suspended based on this test – how about if it was your sample that was treated that way?

  45. after Tags beat down on Goodell im not sure I have a lot of faith in the NFL right now. It seems the saints got the shaft and were made an example of which is total BS. Im on Sherms side and Im on the Saints side where I wasn’t before Paul slaped Roger in the face. Paul and Pete R seemed like fair guys. Roger is turning the NFL into touch football and he seems power hungry. He really needs to go.

  46. if sherman had a half a brain , he wouldve took his suspension along with browner and be back in time for the playoffs.
    browner is a cheater but smart for accepting suspension asap. sherman is just plain stupid. hed rather play regular season games then the playoffs.

  47. For someone to crap all over a person and town like Norcalmafia did, you must be incredibly content with life. Seattle’s weather can suck (God forbid we have all four seasons), the stadium architecture was built to harness and exploit crowd noise, but none needs to be piped in— Google “Beast Quake” and tell me that was artificially produced… And finally, unfortunately he’s right about no championships lately… But to say we’re unsuccessful is absurd. If you’re leaning on your baseball team for this argument, yuk, that’s about as exciting as a Chess title.

  48. I am a BIG SEAHAWK fan, and a fan of Sherman (surprise), BUT the thing that bugs me most isn’t the 4 game suspension…..its that Sherman doesn’t seem to be getting any real advice from people around him TO SHUT UP.

    He doesn’t even know what the rulling is going to be and he is talking about lawsuit and slaming the NFL – the league responsible for paying him Millions.

    I just wish and hope we don’t have a “troubled” player here that is going to cause team problems. I’m not talking about the positive test or the appeal – that stuff will happen. I am talking about the way he handles himself. TO couldn’t get enough attention until he got enough attention, then he wanted little attention but it was too late. Someone needs to talk with this kid.

  49. There are a bunch of issues here.

    1. Was Goodell even involved with this suspension or appeal? Usually Cottrell and Shell handle these appeals, and PED tests don’t get hearings, so Goodell probably hasn’t been involved.

    2. The CBA handled all of these issues, not to the players benefit though. In the CBA, if I recall correctly there was a provision that made the collection issues irrelevant BECAUSE of the Ryan Braun case. The players need to learn that there are more important things then just money. This is the 2nd issue that comes from trying to get those few more pennies now, instead of how to keep earning them.

    3. Sherman didn’t use the Adderal defense. So I doubt it was Adderal, it was probably steroids. Especially since he said that he drank from another players water bottle.

    4. If you are someone who relies on their bodies to make millions, you should know what goes in or out of your body and how it is handled before and after. I have not nor would I allow a urine test to be in a less than okay container. If he could see that there was a 2nd container, then he could’ve asked for another container. Methinks he let it go so that he could use this defense later.

    5. He never said he was innocent just that the test was taken wrong. That is the most telling thing right there. I believe this would come into play in a lawsuit. He was suspended for breaking the rules, he never has stated that he is innocent.

    Either way letting it wait this long has probably hurt his team.

  50. IF…there is an issue with the handling of the specimen, this could be a factor in appealing the finding. However, the ONLY one I have heard from that said there is any issue at all with the specimen is Sherman himself. Frankly, this smells like a strategy of “the best defense is a good offense”. Lets let the process play out. Also, let him sue if he wants to. The players agreed to this process in the CBA… get over it.

    Seattle fans have a right to be upset that two of their best players (Sherman and Browner) were so selfish that they did this and put their teams success in jeopardy. Seattle is playing awesome right now and this distraction is un-needed and was simply unecessary.

    Oh…and Norcalmafia’s comments above are clearly born out of jealousy and he is clearly compensating for some shortcoming of his own.

  51. The guy’s a moron. Shoulda taken his 4 games at seasons end. It’s gonna be laugh-out-loud funny when this jamoke ends up getting suspended for the Seattle’s postseason.

  52. Though I think Sherman is an Excellent Corner he also is the POSTER boy for Aderall use and should serve his suspension like every single other player accused of the same thing this year! He used it, he just wants to play especially in the playoffs so he’s postponing his suspension as much as possible.. But He should have been smart and served it right away, not there will be no playoffs of him.. Which is cool with me cause I’m not a Seahawks fan.

  53. If Tebow was in the same position there would be complete outrage and how irresponsible an deceitful he was being, but since Sherman is basically a piece of crap no one cares.

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