Richard Sherman’s questionable hit on the Buffalo Bills kicker on Monday night has been a source of a lot of controversy. But no one has ripped Sherman harder than CBS Sports analysts Boomer Esiason and Bart Scott just did.
Here’s the play, in case you haven’t seen it:
Here’s the brutally honest take Esiason had:
“I don’t think Richard is a dirty player. I just think he’s hypocritical. Two weeks prior, he basically said that the NFL doesn’t care about its players — the NFL doesn’t care about injuries, and I’m paraphrasing a little bit here. He was very strong in the commentary, and it got picked up all over the place. And then, lo and behold, he goes out there — and I do believe this is a dirty play, because he is so far offside. And we’ve seen a lot of guys in the same situation just pull up and they know that there’s going to be a penalty and the play’s going to stop. I think it was an error in his judgement and I do think when you put together with what he said a few weeks ago, he looks like a hypocrite.”
Scott offered a similarly harsh assessment:
“I don’t think he’s a dirty player; that was a dirty play and it was unnecessary. He was so far offside. Imagine this: Imagine somebody coming offsides and body slamming a QB after the play…Guys win and lose games and lose jobs because they don’t have a kicker, and he could have broken that kicker’s foot or leg. I’m just disappointed and surprised, to be honest with you, at my former head coach Rex Ryan, because I would have done the same exact thing to their kicker to let them know what that feels like.”
Sherman has defended his actions, saying that had he done nothing, the Bills could have kicked the ball and declined the penalty on what would have been essentially a free play. But that presents a false dichotomy, where the only options are letting the Bills score for free or making dangerous, unfair hits on vulnerable players. Sherman should own up and apologize for his mistakes, especially if he wants to continue crusading for player safety.