richard-sherman-zambo2

Sir, do you have a license for that vehicle?

Much like Ron Burgundy and his choice of milk, earlier this week Richard Sherman made a decision he regretted immediately. During an interview with the Vancouver Sun (Canadian content! Drink!), he said that “half the league” takes Adderall. Sherman, as you’ll surely recall, was nearly suspended for Adderall use this past season, but then his appeal was successful.

You should put on your surprised face: the league didn’t enjoy Sherman’s remark, mostly because it’s surely false, and also because players shouldn’t even be hinting that 50 percent of the league is on any drug. Sherman then slammed it in reverse quicker than the average grandfather backing over a flowerpot, telling NFL Network this morning that he was misquoted.

And really, what’s the difference between saying “a bunch” and “half’? What’s a few hundred players between friends?

Now PFT has obtained the transcript of the original interview, so you can judge for yourself whether or not Sherman really was misquoted (hint: he wasn’t).

As someone who was once a real journalist during the minor leagues of my blossoming career (shall I pause for laughter? OK) when I reported on monkey escapes and fishing derbies (aside: covering a fishing derby is the absolute worst thing you can ever do with your time), I can speak from experience and tell you that recordings from interviews are often guarded with your life. If your printed word can’t be trusted, then you’re just a lowly schmuck, bro.

In this case, the Sun’s reporter Mike Beamish had his hand forced by Sherman, as instead of just being a simple schmuck, he was accused of being a lying schmuck.

So here’s part of the back and forth:

Mike Beamish, Vancouver Sun: “Let me ask you about the suspension you were handed, and you appealed it. Have you left that behind? Do people ask you about that? Do you have to explain it a lot?”

Sherman: “Not really. It was what it was. I think the league made a mistake. Obviously, they cleaned up their mistake by repealing . . . repealing? . . . taking it away. That’s what it was to me. Obviously, I didn’t do anything. But you have to go through the process to prove you didn’t do anything. Once the process played itself out, it ended up being true.”

Beamish: “There are players who actually have to take Adderall, because people have ADD and ADHD.”

Sherman: “There’s about half the league that takes it, and the league has to allow it.”

Beamish: “It’s like you have a prescription, if you’re a diabetic.”

Sherman: “Exactly.”

For the sake of the public record then, it seems like Sherman did say the words in question. But he surely meant to say “bunch”, meaning this becomes a case of optics.

As Sherman and Beamish discussed, there are legitimate reasons for Adderall use, and those are included in the league’s rules. There are a “bunch” of players who take it then, but saying “half” based on little more than a flailing guess obviously sounds much worse.

So that’s settled, right? He misspoke, and now we can all return to going about the business of making mock drafts that will be completely wrong in two weeks.

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