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Two days before the NFL world watched in horror as Tom Savage was allowed back into the game after appearing to suffer a concussion, Esquire published an interview with Richard Sherman, the veteran cornerback. In the interview, he was asked if the league had made strides with head injuries.

His response?

No, the league hasn’t done much outside of appeasing public opinion. Now, you get a hard hit, fine players a bunch of money, suspend guys. But it’s more punishing players than it is player safety, and putting more money into league charities, et cetera. It’s not really changing the game or making it cheap nfl jerseys for sale more safe. Obviously there are still players going back into the game after head injuries and after huge collisions. Guys go unreported. But to appease public opinion, and to make the fans continue to watch the game and the product, they went out and made all these rules. Now we have a guy on the sideline. That’s not for safety, that’s for public opinion.

While the NFL has spent tens of millions and changed rules to address the problems of head injuries, it was clear on Sunday that it’s not enough — or at least not foolproof. According to USA TODAY Sports’ Nancy Armour, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said that the league’s chief medical officer was reviewing Savage’s injury.

Of course, Sherman’s past comments help show what a complicated problem it is. In 2013, he admitted to hiding a concussion — and said it had paid off for him. And in a 2016 interview with GQ, Sherman said that the fear of concussions doesn’t change the way that he plays.

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“It doesn’t change the way I play. I’ve always tried to tackle with the best form, and not try to always get people down on the ground without using my head. But it doesn’t change the way I think about the game or how I feel about my kids playing the game. I feel like this game has given me a lot more than its taken. It obviously takes a toll on your body and you understand the risks going into it, but you also have to understand that it’s taught me discipline, hard work, teamwork, being dependable, being available, how to be a leader, how to work past adversity. Just so many things that you use in your everyday life. And you can’t take that for granted. So maybe my son doesn’t end up being a professional athlete, maybe he never even plays a sport, but I wouldn’t hold him back from something that’s been so great to me.
He’s also been critical of other ways the NFL has addressed player safety — in 2016, he penned a Players’ Tribune article about the dangers of Thursday Night Football.

I just don’t understand why the NFL says it’s taking a stand on player safety, then increases the risks its players face by making them play on Thursday, before their bodies are ready.

My Seahawks teammates and I are playing in one of the last Thursday night games of the season this week, so we’re one of the last teams to be exploited in 2016. One of the last to be taken advantage of. One of the last to get the middle finger from the NFL.

But as long as the NFL is using that same finger to count Thursday Night Football dollars, I don’t think it really cares.

His 2017 season ended prematurely after he ruptured his Achilles playing in the very Thursday Night Football games he had warned about.