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Richard Sherman hopes Donald Sterling episode prompts more Redskins debate

(Elaine Thompson/AP)

The NBA’s Donald Sterling episode continues to prompt current and former NFL players to talk about the Redskins name. The latest was Richard Sherman, the superstar Seahawks cornerback, who brought up the Redskins name unprompted when Time’s Sean Gregory asked him whether he thought Roger Goodell would similarly ban an owner who made offensive comments.

“No I don’t,” Sherman said. “Because we have an NFL team called the Redskins. I don’t think the NFL really is as concerned as they show. The NFL is more of a bottom line league. If it doesn’t effect their bottom line, they’re not as concerned.”

Further excerpt:

Do you hope the Sterling incident can be a touchstone to force some change on the Redskins issue?
I would hope it would help. It’d help reinitiate the conversation. And at least there would be another discussion. You know, I think the discussion has stopped. And the public has just accepted it. And I think there should be more conversations. But it is what it is.
You’re confident that the NFL would not have reacted like the NBA did because they already have a team name like the Redskins. So to you, that says a lot, right?
It does. It says a whole lot.

It’s unclear whether Sherman supports a name change, or just wants “another discussion” and “more conversations.” And “it says a whole lot” isn’t entirely clear. But that Sherman brought up the name issue is striking to me, because this has not, traditionally, been an issue that superstar NFL players raised on their own.

In recent weeks, former linebacker Jason Taylor said the name was offensive, and former linebacker London Fletcher said the name started making him a little bit uneasy at the end of his career, both in the context of Sterling discussion.

Read the rest of Sherman’s interview here.