SEATTLE -- Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman offered a critical take Sunday night on how, in his view, some fans dehumanize NFL players because of fantasy football, saying players "don't care about your fantasy team."
"I think a lot of people, a lot of fans out there have looked at players even less like people because of fantasy football and things like that," Sherman said. "You go and say, 'Oh man, this guy got hurt.'
"You're not thinking, 'Hey man, this guy got hurt -- he's really physically hurt and he's going to take time to recover and it's probably going to affect his mental state and his physical state and now he has a long, rigorous rehab.' You're thinking, 'Oh, man, he's messing up my fantasy team.'"
Sherman's comments came in response to a postgame question about how players are affected when a teammate is injured.
Seahawks running back Chris Carson suffered what coach Pete Carroll called a significant ankle injury during the team's 46-18 win over the Indianapolis Colts, while left tackle Rees Odhiambo had to be taken to the hospital after experiencing trouble breathing.
Sherman called injuries to teammates "devastating" and lamented how some fans only view them through the lens of fantasy football.
"I think that's why you see the frustration from a lot of players saying they don't care about your fantasy team," he said. "They don't care about how it affects your fantasy team because these are real players, this is real life. This is real life and this is their real job and that's affecting their well-being.
"Now, your fantasy team may not win, and hey, guess what, you'll live the next day. This is their well-being. They may not ever get another shot. They may never get another down, another play. And I think that's why it's so devastating for players. Thankfully, I don't think [Carson's injury is] as serious as we first thought, hopefully, God willing. Trying to be optimistic in this situation."
Carson, a rookie seventh-round pick from Oklahoma State, has been Seattle's starting running back over the first four games. Odhiambo, a second-year player from Boise State, took over as the starting left tackle when George Fant tore his ACL in the preseason.
"It's terrible when you see things like that because we know these guys personally," Sherman said. "A lot of times the fans know us from the surface and wear 32 [Carson's number] and he's running the ball and he's doing great for my team, but they don't think about the effects that an injury will have to a guy's mental capacity and what his family and what his mom and girlfriend and wife might be going through. It's different, but I'm happy that it's not as bad as they initially thought."