It's a major issue for the NFL, and it could lead to a change in the Rooney Rule, the league's system for ensuring minority coaches get a fair shot in head-coach searches.
"Don't get me started on the Rooney Rule," Sherman said. " ... I mean, it's starting to become kind of ridiculous. It's past resumes and who's great. No offense to (new Bears coach Marc) Trestman, but they'd rather take a coach from the CFL than to take known, accomplished coaches."
Smith was fired following a 10-6 season in which the Bears finished with the NFL's fifth-ranked defense. "NFL AM" host Steve Wyche remarked that Smith wasn't hotly pursued in the interview process after his Chicago dismissal.
"And how ridiculous is that?" Sherman asked rhetorically. "There are teams hurting for defense. Hurting. He just coached one of the best defenses in the NFL, he got fired, OK. I would have thought his phone would be ringing off the hook soon as he got on the market. I think something needs to be done obviously, it's not my job to come with any kind of scheme or plan to put in place to help with that, but I think it's kind of ridiculous right now.
"You have an all-white list when you have some great African-American head coaches," he went on. "You don't have to pick them just because they're black, but give them a fair shake. I don't know if Lovie Smith was white if he would still be on the market."
It's hard to argue with Sherman's logic. It remains to be seen if the events of January lead to changes going forward.