Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman writes in his latest story for The Players' Tribune that the NFL's rules regarding on-field conduct may be one reason for the slide in TV ratings this season.

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Are the NFL’s rules on players’ on-field conduct a factor in the slide in TV ratings this fall (a dip, though, that has so far escaped Seattle)?

Could be, according to Seahawks’ cornerback Richard Sherman, who offered that opinion as well as many more in his latest column for The Players’ Tribune.

In a column headlined simply “Common Sense,” Sherman contrasts the league’s stringent rules regarding on-field conduct vs. what it allows off-field, noting that New York Giants kicker Josh Brown received just a one-game penalty for admitting to abusing his wife.

Writes Sherman:

“The NFL doesn’t want players to do anything that might set a bad example for the kids in its audience — such as showboat, or celebrate excessively — yet it features beer ads in all of its stadiums and in almost every commercial break. Josh Norman can’t shoot an imaginary bow and arrow after a big pick because the NFL says that it depicts a “violent act.” Meanwhile, the name of the team he plays for depicts Native Americans in a way that many people consider offensive.

“All this is hardly surprising. The NFL is inconsistent in a lot of things it does.”

Sherman then wonders if maybe all of this is impacting TV ratings.

Writes Sherman:

“We’re already seeing a bit of that. TV ratings are down, and I think we can point to the NFL legislating the emotion out of the game as a contributing factor. The NFL is enforcing a policy against celebration. Against joy. Against fun. It’s something I know a lot of players are frustrated with, and it appears that fans may be as well.

“Players are being told to “act like they’ve been there” by a group of people who have never been there themselves.

“Now, the league is reaping what it has sown.”

Sherman concludes:

“The real problem with the NFL is the lack of a system of checks and balances.

“The commissioner simply has too much power.

“At the end of the day, fans don’t want to watch robots. They want to watch players having fun and showing emotion. I’m with them. I think what they also want is for the league to be consistent in its discipline. To be transparent. To do what it says it’s going to do and to use a little common sense.

“I don’t think that’s too much to ask.”