RENTON – Whether Richard Sherman still thinks Michael Crabtree is me-di-o-cre will have to wait.
The Seahawks cornerback instead used his regular weekly meeting with the media Tuesday to protest the NFL’s decision last week to fine teammate Marshawn Lynch $100,000 for failing to comply with the media.
As might be expected from one of the NFL’s most media-savvy players, though, Sherman brought some creativity to it, designed at getting maximum attention, asking receiver Doug Baldwin — and a lifesize cardboard cutout of Baldwin — to join him.
During the 2-minute, 25-second skit at the team’s practice facility in Renton, Sherman took issue with several NFL policies, in additon to his criticism of Lynch’s fine.
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He cited the NFL telling players not to endorse alcohol while having a beer company as its largest sponsor (Anheuser Busch).
He wondered why the league touts player safety while asking teams to play two games in the span of five days — as the Seahawks and 49ers will do this week when they meet Thursday night in Santa Clara.
Sherman hinted following Sunday’s victory over Arizona that he had something in store for his news conference this week, and it was quickly evident to the couple dozen media members that this would be a different sort of event as Sherman took the stage, followed by Baldwin carrying the cutout
“You always want to share with your teammates,’’ Sherman said. “Share your success.’’
Sherman then was asked a question by a Seahawks.com employee about his busy offseason.
“Oh man, it’s been incredible,’’ he said, then adding, “you know, the other day Marshawn Lynch got fined $100,000. Did you know that? $100,000. It’s like, they wouldn’t have even paid him $100,000 if he had talked.
“Doug, do you think they would have paid him $100,000?”
Responded Baldwin, hiding behind the cutout behind a lecturn: “No, they sure wouldn’t have.’’
Later, Sherman said, “It seems like we’re in a league where they say, ‘Players, please don’t endorse alcohol, no DUIs please.’ But yet a beer sponsor is their biggest sponsor.
“Doug, how do you feel about that?”
Replied Baldwin: “Like I said, it sounds very hypocritical.”
Later, Baldwin asked: “Speaking of health, how do you feel about the NFL making you play two games in five days?”
Replied Sherman in mock horror: “Oh, my gosh. Jeez. I almost didn’t realize that, because they’ve been talking about player safety so much, and two games in five days, it doesn’t seem like you care about players’ safety. It’s a little bit much for me.’’
Along the way, each managed to drop in nods to their sponsors, Sherman noting that the NFL won’t let him say anything about Beats by Dre headphones, another of his sponsors, because the league has a deal with Bose.
“Sounds a little bit hypocritical,’’ Sherman said.
The skit ended with Sherman asking if there were any questions, Baldwin responding that there were not and the two walking off the stage.
Sherman later indicated to reporters in the Seattle locker room that his point had been made, and he would soon resume talking as usual.
After Sunday’s 19-3 win over Arizona, Sherman gave a few short answers and then said “that’s what happens when Marshawn gets fined’’ and to wait for his next news conference. Sherman typically talks to the media during a group session each Thursday, but it was moved up to Tuesday with the game this week on Thursday.
Among those showing support for Sherman was 49ers safety Eric Reid who tweeted that “Despite the rivalry, Richard Sherman’s interview was awesome,’’ and that “Everything he said was true.’’
What the league thinks figures to be another matter. The NFL has a clause in which players can be subject to penalties for “conduct detrimental to the integrity or/and public confidence in the National Football League.”
Sherman alluded to that possibility when he said near the end: “All right, got to make some money, got to not get fined.’’
Lynch has appealed his fine but an NFL spokesman said via e-mail Tuesday that there has been no resolution. Sherman said after the news conference that he and Baldwin told Lynch of their plans and Lynch told them he’d prefer they not say anything. The team was also informed of Sherman and Baldwin’s plan.
The Sherman/Baldwin skit comes a week after the Seahawks held several meetings designed at reinforcing trust and commitment to the team and each other.
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or email@example.com