UA-59049186-1 Richard Sherman is a Classless Thug - Good if it Goes

Richard Sherman is a Classless Thug

Ok now that I have your attention read this.  The timeliness of this may be slightly off in the digital age and you may have had your fill of Richard Sherman blogs about his actions after a post-game interview.  I think Deadspin’s article The Plight was the most interesting piece I’ve seen on how America views African American athletes.  But what about athletes in general?  Chael Sonnen and most notably Larry Bird are some of the ones that come to mind.  Why is it that an athlete, no matter what race has to remain humble and not show emotion?

On a smaller scale this same incident happened to myself.  I play professional indoor football and I went on a tirade after being snubbed for Defensive MVP in one of the best performances in any league that year.  I was called a “crybaby” and told “I don’t deserve anything” after complaining about the way the voting went.  The outrage spilled over to different leagues and coaches, fans, and other players weighed in on what I should be doing.  I felt that as a man and an athlete that I was short changed for something I earned and I voiced my opinion on it.  I knew I wouldn’t get a recount and get the trophy, but it made the league think about voting the next season.  I skimmed over the Facebook of one of my biggest detractors from my incident and he sided with Sherman saying the sometimes things get “unclassy” in sports.  But do we want our athletic hero’s who we called overpaid, ego-maniacal, arrogant athletes to exude Blue-bloodesque class?

What I took from that experience is that as a professional athlete, no matter what level you are on, you don’t have the right to freedom of speech.  You work hard at your craft, you train hard, you play your heart out in whatever your respective sport is to just be happy you’re there.  The fans belittle you.  They spend their hard earned money to say whatever they want to you with no backlash, and you as a professional athlete, must shut your mouth and take it.  I’ve been called obscenities, racial slurs, and any other negative thing in the book because a fan paid their hard earned money to do it.

What Richard Sherman did was display emotion after arguably the biggest moment of his life.  I’ve seen the Facebook posts calling him a “Classless Thug” an “Idiot”, and plenty of racial slurs.  As an athlete, and an African American male I have spent 27 years of my life to shed any notion that I am a “thug”, “degenerate”, or  “hoodlum” or any type of negative generalization given to the people who actually commit crimes and murders.  The classification of Sherman as such, is unjust and is a sign of the politically correct era that we live in.  A Stanford graduate who enrolled in classes to start a Master’s degree is labeled as a “thug” (a cruel or vicious ruffian, robber, or murder).  The labels we give people who commit heinous acts should not be used to categorize athletes in interviews who do not do anything malicious.  We place athletes under the smallest microscope and tear them down at a moments notice.

Why did he not just Thank God and answer Erin Andrews questions like a good humble athlete? Why must this braggadocio athlete feel a sense of pride in his Game Winning play that propelled his team to the Super Bowl?  Why did he just sell that many more tickets and bring in more eyes for the Super Bowl, for people who now have become Denver Bronco fans?  What Sherman did was what any and all athletes do in between the field of play.  It’s happened in post game interviews prior to this and will happen again.  So for the moment, Richard Sherman is a thug, and apparently thugs belong in the Super Bowl.


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