First off, I get that Richard Sherman doesn’t need me to defend him. I’m just giving my point of view on the overall larger racial discussion that has ensued since his now infamous interview with Erin Andrews.
That interview is just one side of Sherman, though. This is a guy who graduated from Stanford. He also used his last year of eligibility at Stanford to start his Master’s degree. Most NFL players never actually graduate from college. They just play there until they get drafted.This is a guy who managed to escape the streets of Compton and not let the city or LAPD screw up his life. This guy who started off as a wide receiver and converted to corner under Jim Harbaugh (the current Niner coach) and has developed into the best corner in the league; something he adequately pointed out during his interview.
Sherman is not a thug. Sherman is the farthest thing from a thug. How many thugs do you know with degrees from Stanford? I don’t know any. As Sherman pointed out in a subsequent video, the word thug has come to replace the n-word in the American vernacular. Calling a black man a criminal is apparently OK still. I think that’s fucked up. Now, that’s not say that there haven’t been some real “thugs” in the NFL (cough *Aaron Hernandez* cough), but Sherman is not one of them. A bunch of people avoided that problem all together online by simply calling him a monkey or the flat out n-word. I realize that’s the internet and I can’t get too riled up about trolls because it’s a waste of time, but I can’t stand dickheads like that.
The interview was the NFL player side of Sherman, a side which every NFL player has. I’ve heard and seen the vast majority of them (white and black) talk shit during games to each other. It happens in every game. I personally love trash talking. It’s one of my favorite sports past times, especially when the athletes themselves get involved. It’s more entertaining to me that way; I was laughing for the entirety of the Sherman interview. The element of team and interpersonal rivalries is something that has been lacking in the NFL in recent years I feel, and guys like Sherman and others are starting to bring it back to the post game interviews.
Here’s what really happened: Michael Crabtree (the 49ers wide receiver) was being a sore loser at the end of the game. Both Sherman and Crabtree were mic’d up by the people from NFL Films, and the audio of the final play was caught on tape. Sherman went over to Crabtree and held out his right hand, saying, “Helluva game! Helluva game!” Crabtree responded by shoving Sherman in the face. Naturally, Sherman was heated about that and it spilled over into his post game interview. Another interesting thing is that ESPN Deportes actually got the first interview with Sherman before Erin Andrews did, and it was just as entertaining as the first one. At the end of that interview, as the camera is panning towards the ESPN reporter for the sign off, you can see Sherman giving Andrews a big hug. I thought that was funny too. Andrews saw the entirety of his ESPN Deportes interview, so she knew he was heated going into it. She even tweeted the next day that she wasn’t surprised and that the interview was “awesome.”
He’s not a thug, a monkey, or the n-word. He’s a professional football player who had just made the biggest play in the biggest game of his career and he was pissed about Crabtree being a dick to him. I don’t necessarily want Seattle to win on Feb. 2, but I do want Richard Sherman to have a good game. I hope he takes all this hate and uses it as fuel for a career day. I’m pretty sure Manning is smart enough to not throw it anywhere near him, though.
http://deadspin.com/sherman-crabtree-watch-and-listen-to-their-micd-up-hi-1507040069 (the mic’d up video of Sherman and Crabtree)
http://deadspin.com/heres-another-awesome-richard-sherman-interview-befor-1506911877 (his interview with ESPN Deportes)
http://deadspin.com/richard-sherman-breaks-up-pass-wins-game-goes-nuts-on-1504807735 (the infamous Andrews interview)
http://deadspin.com/richard-sherman-explains-what-people-mean-when-they-cal-1506821800 (Sherman explains the word “thug.”)