While fantasy football has undoubtedly helped turn the NFL into the gigantic enterprise that it is today, there are many NFL players who don’t exactly love the way it has made some fans behave. Every week, it seems a key player goes down with an injury, and most people’s reaction to it isn’t, "Oh no, I feel so bad for him, I hope he’s OK." It’s, "Oh no, I had him in my fantasy football team’s starting lineup, I hope my team is OK."
Richard Sherman is one of the players who has been particularly vocal when it comes to speaking out against fantasy football. After his teammate Chris Carson sustained an injury during a game in early October, he went off on fantasy football during a post-game interview.
"I think a lot of people, a lot of fans out there, have looked at players even less like people because of fantasy football and things like that," Sherman said. "You go and say, 'Oh man, this guy got hurt.' You’re not thinking, 'Hey man, this guy got hurt—he’s really physically hurt and he’s going to take time to recover and it’s probably going to affect his mental state and his physical state and now he has a long, rigorous rehab.' You’re thinking, 'Oh man, he’s messing up my fantasy team.'"
Sherman went on to say that sentiment is the reason he and many other NFL players are anti-fantasy football.
"I think that’s why you see the frustration from a lot of players saying they don’t care about your fantasy team," he said. "They don’t care about how it affects your fantasy team because these are real players, this is real life. This is real life and this is their real job and that’s affecting their well-being."
Sherman is certainly entitled to his opinion on fantasy sports—and to be honest, he does raise some interesting points. But at the same time, Sherman is being a little bit hypocritical at the moment, because on Monday, despite everything he just said about fantasy football and it being bad for NFL players, he actually went out of his way to promote it on Twitter. It looks like a company cut him a check, and he agreed to post this in response.
Like most tweets with the word #ad included, it didn’t get a ton of traction. Only a few people retweeted it, which means those who don’t follow Sherman or pay attention to his tweets probably didn’t see it. But some of those who did called him out for criticizing fantasy football while simultaneously making money off of it.
If we had to guess, whoever is in charge of setting up Sherman’s endorsements probably pushed this through, and Sherman likely still feels the same way about fantasy football as he did a few weeks ago. But it does feel a little weird to see him posting his fantasy tweet so soon after ripping those who play it, and it's not going to help his cause the next time he decides to go off on fantasy football.