San Francisco cornerback Richard Sherman made a serious allegation after today’s win over Arizona: Sherman believes his status as a member of the NFL Players Association Executive Committee results in him getting more penalties, and less of the benefit of the doubt from the officiating office.
Early in today’s game, the Cardinals successfully challenged a play on which Sherman initially wasn’t penalized. The league’s officiating office looked at the replay and saw that Sherman had committed pass interference. Sherman wasn’t happy about that, and he suggested that the league is picking on him.
“I had three penalties on the season coming into this game, and to get three in a half is really interesting. Especially with the way that the reversals have gone. I think there’s been probably over 100 PI challenges this year, and there’s been five, I think, reversals, and I’m two of them. I think being an E.C. member and part of that committee has its perks, and then it has its conversations where you’re the only one who gets overturned,” Sherman said.
Sherman hinted that officials might want to please the league office by sticking it to a vocal supporter of the players’ union.
“I’ve been here long enough and played long enough to understand they call the game like that sometimes,” Sherman said. “I know the way the system works with referees and how they get in the playoffs, and how they have point systems whether they got it right or got it wrong, so the league will make that decision and tell them if they’re right or wrong.”
Sherman’s theory sounds awfully farfetched, and the reality is that he did commit pass interference on the play in question. Sherman is right that he’s one of the few players who has been flagged for pass interference after a replay review, but the idea that the league officiating office is targeting him is a stretch.