What Actions Will the NFL Take Against Richard Sherman After His Arrest?

Free-agent cornerback Richard Sherman is facing several charges, including suspicion of burglary domestic violence, following his arrest at the home of his wife’s parents in Redmond, Washington.

Sherman was booked at 6:08 a.m. PT Wednesday and was not released on bail as of Thursday morning, which is the standard local procedure for suspects of domestic violence until they are able to appear before a judge.

The NFL, like the rest of the general public, is waiting to hear from Sherman or his lawyers about what happened. But if the alleged charges are true, what action will the league take against him?

The 911 call

Sherman allegedly tried to break into the house of his in-laws early Wednesday morning. One of the residents, seemingly his wife, Ashley Moss, made a 911 call at 1:49 a.m. PT, and police were dispatched to the scene. 

The released 911 call paints Sherman in a different light than most NFL fans are used to seeing. According to his wife, Sherman threatened to harm himself, and she also claimed that he was drunk and aggressive. Though he did get into a scuffle with the police before his arrest, he didn’t harm himself or any other family member.

Per an ESPN News Services release, “The domestic violence component of the charge Sherman faces, which is a felony, is because of his relation to the occupants of the residence. The malicious mischief charge is in relation to the damage he allegedly did to their front door, [Redmond Police Department Chief Darrell] Lowe said. No one at the residence sustained injuries and Sherman did not gain entry into the residence, Lowe said.”

Richard Sherman must face the consequences

San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman looks on during the NFL game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Arizona Cardinals | MSA/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Not only does Sherman face possible felony charges, but he also may face the wrath of the NFL.  

The NFL’s recent stance toward domestic violence has been much tougher than in years past. 

So far, the NFL Players Association has released a statement that said, in part, that it is monitoring the situation closely:

“We were made aware of an arrest last night of one of our player leaders for an alleged domestic violence incident and have activated our domestic violence crisis protocol for the protection and support of everyone involved. We will continue to monitor events closely as more facts are made available to us.”

There is shock and disbelief among NFL fans on social media who cannot believe that Sherman would take such actions.

Although he has been outspoken at times about certain issues such as the need for sports to invoke social change, Sherman has never been in a situation like this in which he faces charges that could potentially end his NFL career.

As reports continue to come in, the general public is waiting to hear more details about what took place and what, if anything, will happen as a result of the charges Sherman could face.

Could this end his NFL career?

Sherman hasn’t been charged yet. If that changes and he’s found guilty, he could face a suspension from the league that may end his career.

The free agent hasn’t signed with a team yet, and these alleged transgressions may turn off certain organizations that might otherwise have been interested in signing the former Super Bowl champ.

Former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was released and indefinitely suspended by the NFL in September 2014 after TMZ released video footage that showed him punching his then-fiancee while the two were at a casino in Atlantic City that February. He would later file a suit against the NFL for wrongful termination, and in January 2015, he received some of his salary back from the Ravens.

But unlike Rice, Sherman allegedly didn’t harm any of the relatives at his in-laws’ residence, per Moss, and his charges (if he is indeed charged) are less serious than what Rice faced. Still, even a short suspension to start the season may hurt Sherman.

A long suspension from the NFL at Sherman’s age (he’s 33) would all but end his career. Not many teams may be willing to take a chance on him even if the charges are dropped.

Sherman also faces potential misdemeanor charges for hit-and-run and DUI, per The Athletic. Those offenses may violate the NFL’s substance abuse policy, but the league may be more lenient since this would be Sherman’s first such violation. It’s relatively easy to forgive the mistake of a talented 22-year-old rookie; it might be a different story for a 33-year-old NFL veteran.

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