Should Sherman Be Disciplined For Post-Game Rant?

Richard-sherman-618x400I enjoyed the game with the kids last night between the San Francisco 49ers that sent the Seattle Seahawks. That amazing game however was marred by a bizarre rave from cornerback Richard Sherman. Sherman immediately followed the win with a screaming and unhinged rant. The question is whether the Seahawks should be able to discipline Sherman for such a disgraceful performance — just after an equally disgraceful taunting of the 49ers. I would be the first to defend the free speech rights of Sherman to act like a street thug and even diss opposing players like San Francisco receiver Michael Crabtree. However, the Seahawks drew well-deserved praise on this blog for moving against thugs in the stadium in the prior game with the 49ers. How about the thugs on the field? This is not an attack on free speech by the government. The question is whether a company can discipline an employee at work for behaving like a thug. UPDATE: Sherman has been fined by the NFL for his taunting shortly before his outburst on television.

Sherman followed the interception against the 49ers by engaging in raw unsportsmanlike conduct, including a choke taunt to rub salt in the wound of the opposing team. He then was called over by a friendly Erin Andrews who cheerfully asked him for his reaction. Andrews was virtually speechless as Sherman started screaming: “Well, I’m the best corner in the game! When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree, that’s the result you’re going to get! Don’t you ever talk about me!” I realize that Sherman and Crabtree were trash talking in the game, but this is still a game watched by millions of families. It is bad enough, as we have previously discussed, that families have to content with drunken, foul-mouthed fans in stadiums. Now, the players are demonstrating the worst type of conduct and values on television. I am a big supporter of unsportsmanshiplike conduct penalties. However, this was after the game. Should the Seahawks be allowed to fine players for this type of rude and uncivil conduct while wearing a Seahawks uniform on the field?

Crabtree strikes me as showing the same idiocy in this game and should be reprimanded for his own lack of sportsmanship. I understand Sherman’s excuse that he was pumped up and mad but I am tired to just shrugging off the notion that sports celebrities should not be required to be role models. Movie celebrities are often immature toddlers. However, they do not represent a team and represents a city. We have a race to the bottom in both stadiums and on the field as we dismiss this type of conduct as irrelevant or expected. It is part of a society that seems to be losing basic notions of control and civility. I think that people paid millions should be expected to show a modicum of maturity and self-control. If this were a Chicago Bear, I would feel the same way. Indeed, I would be even more disgusted. Between the thugs in the stands and the thugs on the field, we are losing this game to the lowest common denominator.

What is interesting is that a fan can be fired and banned for life for acting like an ass at a stadium, but a player (particularly a good one) seem immune from such responsibility (or the most minimal requirements of society) in appearing on television at a football game.

Later, Sherman only slightly toned down his message, which he must have thought brought him within the limits of civilized society. In an interview, he trashed Crabtree again and said “I was making sure everybody knew Crabtree was a mediocre receiver. Mediocre. And when you try the best corner in the game with a mediocre receiver, that’s what happens.” Thanks for that clarification.

By the way, Sherman is a Stanford graduate with a degree in communications.

UPDATE: There is a rather bizarre notion raised that suggesting that Sherman could be disciplined for this conduct is an attack on free speech. Free speech allows you to speak without government censorship or punishment. It does not mean that adults can say anything without any personal repercussions, particularly while at work. This blog is committed to free speech. Indeed, we have often been accused of being too extreme in our defense of free speech. However, this is not a question of free speech. It is a question of civility and professionalism. If an employee screams profanities at customers or co-workers, it is not a free speech issue. It is a question of the code for employees. If an employee shows contempt for customers or co-workers, it is not a free speech issue. Free speech means that no one can force you not to be an idiot. However, in society, being an idiot comes at a cost with people who do not want to appear idiots. The fact that this would not seem “so bad,” only shows how far our society has diverged from basic expectations of conduct from adults. This is precisely why professional sports is being a beacon for those who want to get drunk and act like juveniles. Call it prissy or prudish if you want. However, I do worry about how this type of conduct is being treated as just harmless trash talk. It is not the content but the conduct that it being raised by some of us. If we cannot agree that this type of conduct is improper for a professional athlete in a game, we have surrendered far too much in our expectations for a civil society.

308 thoughts on “Should Sherman Be Disciplined For Post-Game Rant?

  1. I’m not sure I understand the issue. The notion that all athletes are role models is fairly ridiculous. Sherman was clearly caught up in the trash-talking aspect of the game and the rant lasted only a few seconds. Somehow that warrants being disciplined?

  2. It’s part of the bloodlust competitive nature of sports. Some people know how to handle the good days with sportsmanship cliches and others are caught up in the moment and blurt out the rawness of the games they play. While I think Sherman went over the top and showed immaturity and classless behavior, his play was the back breaker for SF and put SEA in the big one. Seattle coaches should sit down Mr. Sherman and encourage him to be more mature, more civil.

    As the great Mohammed Ali said, “It’s hard to be humble, when you’re as great as I am.” But Mr. Sherman should heed that what comes around, goes around….

  3. I don’t care if this player received a degree from Stanford, he is a punk that does deserve to be fined and disciplined if his contract or the union contract allows ownership the ability to fine a player for this kind of outburst. There is no place in the game for taunting.

  4. Certainly the team and the league has the power to enforce conduct standards, esp. on the field. While the rant was disconcerting and classless, NFL players are,in the main, thugs. To expect civil conduct from them is setting oneself up for disappointment. The NFL is on a crusade to sanitize the image of the league of thugs, so I expect a minor fine to be levied, say $50K? Go Broncos.

  5. You know and I know that this behavior gets attention which will then develop into endorsement deals. Just as NBC knows Trump’s obnoxiousness drives ratings.

    We as a society are at fault for this sort of behavior. It is getting all sorts of attention which produces mouse clicks. Look at those obnoxious Kardashians – turns into ad revenue baybeeee. They’re laughing all the way to the bank.

  6. Yes, He should be required to appear @ a local Seattle sigh school and read Act 1 from Othello using proper diction. Additionally, he should consult w/ Russell Wilson on how to conduct oneself during interviews. Ying and yang on same team.

  7. What a silly pearl-clutching post. Sherman’s comments were hardly deserving of any discipline. I found Feyd Rauth’s thug comment to be far more offensive.

  8. My question for all is this: If Sherman was Caucasian….would he be referred to as punk, thug, street “_______” or other culturally tinged words?

    Or would he be referred to as warrior, brash and agressive?

  9. The contracts between the NFL, owners, players and broadcasters must be long and explicit in many regards. I would be really (REALLY!) surprised if there was not a code of conduct. Players are expected to give interviews after games, both on the field and at the press briefings. To refuse to show up is subject to a disciplinary fine. To go off on another player like that must be unacceptable to the League, and should be unacceptable to the ownership and coaches in Seattle. There will be consequences. He didn’t use any profanity, but I wouldn’t be surprised even if the FCC came down on Fox for allowing that on the air. That’s what a 10-second delay is for.

    As for the thuggery in the NFL, while it absolutely exists, saying that “NFL players are, in the main, thugs,” is hyperbole at its finest. Don’t you think that if there were that many unhinged, dangerous, bile-spewing idiots in the League that we’d hear about all of them? Aaron Hernandez not withstanding, (and I can’t tell you how giddy it makes me that he was a Patriot at the time, totally tarnishing that faux – squeaky – clean image they’ve been toting for years now), and Michael Irvin’s stupidity through so many years of his career (he more than made up for that with his HoF speech… just wow!), to say that it’s a league of thugs is preposterous, bating language. (I guess I bit.) When you look at the good that so many of these players do in their communities, the charities they start, the visits they make to the people in their cities, the amount of their own free time and their own money they give toward those that need it, it is impossible to validate such a statement. Yes, the star players are paid an obscene amount of money, and yes I think the League and the Owners and even the Players can do so much more in their communities than they already do, but to dismiss what is done and take a broad brush to everyone in the league and paint them all as thugs is unfair, unwarranted and, most importantly, patently untrue.

    Go Broncos!

    PS: While this follows Feyd’s post and quotes it as well, several people seemed to suggest that thuggery is the rule and not the exception. I did not mean to single Feyd’s post out, but I felt like I needed to say something. The last post just put me over the fence as to whether or not I would. (I apologize if you felt this was a personal attack, Feyd. I did not mean it that way at all.)

    Please put my two cents into the most proper charity coffer available at this time. My thanks.

  10. The choices one makes determines the friends & life one leads irregardless of the university attended. Stan, the man, is & was my ideal competador on & off the field.

  11. These men spend hours giving each other traumatic brain injuries, and people are worried about trash talk. Sherman didn’t even cuss, that I heard.

    So much for this being blog championing free speech.

  12. Like schools disciplining teachers on free speech?

    New Orleans paid their players up to $50,000 to assault and seriously injure opposing players during games, such as Peyton Manning.

    He missed a whole year with injuries inflicted by them.

    The coach of that team was not banned, and was recently in Seattle.

    Seattle beat them too.

    My prediction Seattle v Denver made on this blog some time back … was … correctamundo eh?

  13. While I am not sure the comments deserve discipline, I was merely stating that I think the league is likely to discipline. Free speech is not the issue – this is a work context.

    And yes, I overgeneralized re thuggery. And no, it was not racial.

    and ‘has’ s/b ‘have’ above.


  14. It is not difficult to deliver an uncontroversial post-game interview. All you have to do is talk about how your team played good offense or defense, briefly describe how it was done, maybe congratulate a team mate for his play, maybe a sentence complimentary of the losing team, just to be courteous. You can see it done correctly after 99.999% of games.
    Sherman utterly failed, and he needs to face consequences. We need to enforce some standards, this was not only rude, it was unprofessional.
    It doesn’t even have to be a severe penalty, just enough to send the message that that is not an appropriate way to act on national television.

  15. I’d discipline Sherman for a lot of things he does on the field but not this rant. It’s symptomatic of a bigger problem. He a super-ego without a steering wheel in a game that fosters super-egos without steering wheels. I’d sit him for his actions on the field in taunting and being a true horse’s petard and then be “amazed” at how his rants would disappear. Even Stanford grads can get a hint if you hit them in the head enough.

  16. Sherman certainly showed a deplorable lack of maturity in his taunting and his ranting. Being a graduate of Stanford doesn’t excuse the behavior. And the communications educators at Stanford surely must be questioning their efficacy. I mean, everyone knows in basic sports PR, you walk off the field after a win and talk a lot about what fine and brilliant competitors your opponents are. In other words, if Crabtree is so mediocre, it doesn’t take much of a defender to cover him, right?

  17. I wonder how many of the commenters here ever was an athlete. i was a college wrestler and although I never was a trash talker, mainly because back in my day, no one did that, I wouldn’t haven’t been SO sensitive about Sherman’s comments. Get a life, boys.
    Spencer Neal

  18. Professor, I guarantee you that if the speaker were not a black athlete, you would not have blogged about this. Guaranteed.

  19. JT: ‘Crabtree strikes me as showing the same idiocy in this game and should be reprimanded for his own lack of sportsmanship.”

    Sportsmanship? This isn’t about sport, it’s about money.

  20. What a witnessed was loud yelling and it seemed aggressive. That’s just my feeling personally. I felt sorry for the lady interviewing him and I felt her nervousness through the television. It doesn’t matter if he didn’t cuss, his anger was clearly over the top and so unprofessional. Regardless of the reason. Take it off the field with Crabtree or the leaders after the game. Don’t act like an out of control angry person whose cork is going to pop during prime time television.

  21. Does anyone recognize that the interviewer caught Sherman just after he had just cemented a huge win for his team while he was undoubtably still amped up with emotion? I wonder how many of the people commenting here ever participated as an athlete, let alone in professional sport. A bunch of weenies.
    Spencer NeL

  22. I have to agree with some of the posts asking the question, if it was a white player would he have been reffered to as a thug? Also, to saths a is a family game is ironic and very funny. Grow men inflicting large amount sof violence of each other, horrific injuries occurring on the field of play, cuss words being thrown around by player on each team. Players who have retired of been forced out by injuries experiencing severe brain damage resulting in suicides and these suicides becoming very public. Yeah, it’s a family sport!

  23. I have to agree with some of the posts asking the question, if it was a white player would he have been referred to as a thug? Also, to say this a is a family game is ironic and very funny. Grown men inflicting large amounts of violence on each other, horrific injuries occurring on the field of play, curse words being thrown around by players on each team. Players who have retired or been forced out of the game by injuries experiencing severe brain damage resulting in suicides and these suicides becoming very public. Yeah, it’s a family sport!

    Sorry for 2nd post, but 1st post was accidently posted before I could correct spelling errors, that is what I get for trying to post on my ipad while in traffic (I am not the 1 driving)

  24. His rant reminds me of the Rodman guy who can not speak English, waives a cigar and rants on tv. This guy here was just out of a game. His speech speaks to the college sports set up in this nation. Few of the punks can read, write, or even talk by the time they have migrated out of those colleges with or without a degree.

  25. We have elected officials and people in the media who participate in what I’d call trash talk about poor/unemployed people, women, teachers and other public sector workers, minorities. Many of these same folks think it’s okay to torture other human beings or to imprison them indefinitely without their ever being found guilty in a court of law. So much for a civil society

  26. NFL teams levy a lot of discipline and fines. Late for a meeting. Wear a non-approved headband. Miss curfew. Unauthorized end zone celebration. In that context, there will probably be a small fine for failing to turn off the trash talking when the microphone came on.

    But a “thug?” I don’t get that. It is just words. He did not threaten anyone. A thug would be someone who took a cheap shot after a play was over. A thug would hit a defenseless receiver in the helmet.

  27. Gring,

    But a “thug?” I don’t get that. It is just words. He did not threaten anyone. A thug would be someone who took a cheap shot after a play was over. A thug would hit a defenseless receiver in the helmet.


    I agree. I wouldn’t call him a thug either for what he did/said.

  28. No one has expressed any empathy for the female reporter into whose microphone this Stanford Cardinal was SCREAMING! He’s a Deon Sanders wannabe. And, as Kraaken astutely observed, this is about marketing himself as the new Deon and $$$.

  29. Seattle Seahawks’ Richard Sherman: From Compton to Stanford to 49ers’ enemy

    “A lot of people love to win, but I hate to lose,” Sherman said recently. “Doesn’t matter what it is. I hate losing. If we were walking to the practice field, I wouldn’t want to be second to the field.”

    Without that hyper-drive and that football-sized chip on his shoulder, Sherman would not have become a straight-A student and the first player from Compton’s Dominguez High School to earn a football scholarship to Stanford.

    Without it, Sherman would not have navigated the transition from college receiver to NFL cornerback in three years.

    Without it, Sherman would not have transformed himself from fifth-round draft pick to NFL elite.

    “The chip that makes him a great player also made him a great student,” said David Shaw, who coached Sherman at Stanford and remains a close friend and mentor…

    Sherman’s parents were no less influential. His father, Kevin, rose daily at 4 a.m. to drive a garbage truck — and still does today. His mother, Beverly, works with disabled kids in the inner city and preached the value of education. She was happy to dole out a few dollars when her children — Branton and Richard have a younger sister, Kristyna — came home from school with A’s.

    Sherman did just that, year after year after year. He took Advanced Placement classes, attended leadership seminars and was an extra-credit machine. If he finished his assignments before the bell rang, he’d help classmates finish theirs.

  30. Frank:
    I do hope Peyton gets a second ring. As for Eli, so much for the naysayers who said he was OK in college, but not an NFL franchise quarterback. This vindicates Archie, the best quarterback who never got to play in a Super Bowl. And also a thumb in the eye to the selection committee for the Heisman who passed over all three.

  31. This football player could have shown some more respect and yes it is annoying with what some sports are coming. Yet, I really don’t expect much out of these guys anyway, so frankly my dear…

  32. Can they discipline him or any employee? Certainly. Will they? And will it hurt enough to dissuade him and others?

    He was wearing the business’ uniform. And clearly representing his employer’s image when he chose to open his mouth to a overtly international microphone immediately after doing his job. And what he said was stupid as hell.

  33. I like Elaine’s rap on Sherman and I appreciate what he accomplished. He just needs to lower the hype. But heck they just came out of a title game! Thank you Elaine for bringing more to the discussion about this guy and I withdraw my previous rant. But not my rant about Rodman.

  34. I was more offended by Troy Aikman’s home boy coverage. His desire for a 49er win was so ever present during the whole game. Twice I heard him say something good about San Francisco followed by “which is why the 49ers would win the game.” Well, haha on Troy. Next time Fox needs to give us some broadcasters who can show a modicum of neutrality. I am glad CBS is doing the Super Bowl. I think calling Sherman a thug is bit too harsh. If I were owner or coach of Sherman, I would have a talk with him to tone it down when being interviewed by TV.

  35. BarkinDog,

    I was truly taken aback by Sherman’s rant and agree that he should tone down the swagger. That said, he didn’t play dirty and didn’t purposely hurt anyone during the game. Too often, we are quick to judge young black men as thugs in our society. Think of Trayvon Martin.

  36. If you want to see some real comments from professional athletes that deserve suspension or a fine watch this press conference. Its to announce the boxing match between Paulie Malignaggi and Adrian Broner. Both fighters are pretty well known especially Malignaggi who is a Showtime commentator/announcer. Although the promoters were disgusted by it and many sports sites and newspapers criticized both fighters, nothing really happened to either boxer. Malignaggi should of been fired by Showtime for his disgusting, sexist rant, and his attitudes towards women during the press conference. Showtime did nothing to him, not a suspension or even a verbal reprimand. Just watch it as it is appalling and makes the rant by Sherman seem disney-like.

  37. Yeah, no. If this was a rant made by a white guy, this would never even have come up. Also- has the league ever fined Harbaugh for his constant string of foul and angry language used from the sidelines (and you don’t have to be a lip-reader to know what he’s saying)? Since when did football become a “gentleman’s game”? If you want emotionless controlled commentary, watch golf. Or Polo. Everyone who’s ranting against Sherman (who did not curse once) is doing so either because he’s black (and does happen to have a tough background) or because HE’S NOT ON YOUR TEAM.

  38. Deb, I’m trying to think of a white athlete that loud and in your face, and I can’t. It’s a black thing. Larry David did a great Curb show and attacked the PC simply stating an obvious point. Black folk are much louder than white folk. And, I DETEST the Harbaugh antics. He also needs to be fined. They talked about it but it’s not happened yet. He’s the Bobby Knight of the NFL. Some opposing team player needs to lay him out once. That will keep his whining ass off the field.

  39. I’m a free speech nut journalism professor and have been take to task regarding my comments about Richard Sherman. I’m from Seattle. I’m a huge Seahawk fan. Sherman’s taunting during and after the game and his interview where he proclaimed to be the best was more than I could stomach. He represents all that is wrong with professional sports. I can’t wait for baseball season. If someone acted like that in baseball, his own team mates would call for the opposing pitcher to tone him down with a bean ball. I’ve seen Sherman’s behavior defended everywhere by unlikely sources. Here’s my comment back to all who have no problem with Sherman. Would you like your son or daughter to engage in the very same behavior. Forget free speech, that is my threshold in professional sports.

  40. if you stick a microphone in someones face at an emotional time don’t be surprised when you get emotion.

    i think it’s amazing that youtube doesn’t have a section devoted to people sticking mics up reporters arses. many deserve it.

  41. In Sherman’s own words (posted by Ron at 12:25 pm on 1/20):

    To Those Who Would Call Me a Thug or Worse …’

    I show passion on the football field—but that’s only a small part of who I am. If you want to judge me, I can handle it.

    By Richard Sherman

    What a night, and what a finish.

    Near midnight I still had about 70 unread text messages from friends and family, most of which read, “Best interview ever!” Many of my Twitter mentions were less supportive. My body ached. I was thrilled and proud and upset, all at once.

    Here’s what happened …

    I spent most of the game on an island: I was targeted only twice during the entire NFC Championship. The first produced a BS holding call against me; the second ended the game. Michael Crabtree stutter-stepped out of his break on first down and sprinted toward the end zone. I was in good position for a pick until he pushed me in the back. My interception became a tip and an interception for Malcolm Smith in the end zone.

    Game over. The Seahawks are in the Super Bowl.

    I ran over to Crabtree to shake his hand but he ignored me. I patted him, stuck out my hand and said, “Good game, good game.” That’s when he shoved my face, and that’s when I went off.

    I threw a choking sign at 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Why? Because he decided he was going to try the guy he was avoiding all game, because, I don’t know, he’s probably not paying attention for the game-winning play. C’mon, you’re better than that.

    “It was loud, it was in the moment, and it was just a small part of the person I am.”

    Erin Andrews interviewed me after the game and I yelled what was obvious: If you put a subpar player across from a great one, most of the time you’re going to get one result. As far as Crabtree being a top-20 NFL receiver, you’d have a hard time making that argument to me. There are a lot of receivers playing good ball out there, and Josh Gordon needed 14 games to produce almost double what Crabtree can do in a full season. And Gordon had Brandon Weeden, Brian Hoyer and Jason Campbell playing quarterback.

    But that’s not why I don’t like the man. It goes back to something he said to me this offseason in Arizona, but you’d have to ask him about that. A lot of what I said to Andrews was adrenaline talking, and some of that was Crabtree. I just don’t like him.

    It was loud, it was in the moment, and it was just a small part of the person I am. I don’t want to be a villain, because I’m not a villainous person. When I say I’m the best cornerback in football, it’s with a caveat: There isn’t a great defensive backfield in the NFL that doesn’t have a great front seven. Everything begins with pressure up front, and that’s what we get from our pass rushers every Sunday. To those who would call me a thug or worse because I show passion on a football field—don’t judge a person’s character by what they do between the lines. Judge a man by what he does off the field, what he does for his community, what he does for his family.

    But people find it easy to take shots on Twitter, and to use racial slurs and bullying language far worse than what you’ll see from me. It’s sad and somewhat unbelievable to me that the world is still this way, but it is. I can handle it.

    One thing I can’t accept is what I read after the game about Seahawks fans throwing food at 49ers linebacker Navorro Bowman as he was being carted off the field with his knee injury. If it’s true, it’s beyond terrible. That’s as low as it gets. I’m sure whoever did this is in a small minority of fans, because I don’t think that kind of action is an accurate representation of the character of the 12th man. Navorro Bowman is a great player who plays the game the right way. When he went down, I dropped to a knee and prayed for him. He deserves better than having food thrown at him as he’s carted off a field. All players deserve better than that.

    So here we are, in the Super Bowl. New York-bound. There will be a lot of talking, but at this point, after 18 games, there’s nothing left to say. We have the right mindset, and nothing can change that. We’ve treated every week like a championship opportunity and we’ll obviously continue to think that way. We deserve to be here. We didn’t sneak into the Super Bowl; we earned our way. Now every goal we set forth at the beginning of the season is in front of us.

    The Broncos stand in our way, and it’s a large obstacle. They’ve got the
    smartest quarterback in football and receivers who are large (mostly), explosive with the football and run great routes. Wes Welker is quick and elusive, Eric Decker is a great receiver with hands and speed, and Demaryius Thomas is as strong as they come. And Peyton knows how to get each of them in spots.

    It’s the No. 1 offense vs. the No. 1 defense. It’s a match made in heaven, and we couldn’t be more excited. If you’re any kind of competitor and you have any kind of dog about you, you want to play against the best. Finally, we get the opportunity.

  42. N2002, Amen my brother. And, as I said earlier, Sherman is calculating and creating the next “Neon” Deon Sanders persona. Interestingly, when Deon play MLB Carlton Fisk did just what you suggested. Sanders hit a pop fly w/ Fisk catching. Sanders just jogged slowly toward first. Fisk jogged alongside Sanders and told him, this is baseball Deon, YOU WILL RESPECT THIS GAME. To Sanders credit, he accepted the tough love lesson from a future Hall of Famer and never dogged it again.

    Drop in more often professor. Love your city. I don’t like Harbaugh, but I think Carroll is a phony. I like Fox w/ the Bronco’s and would like to see Payton win his second and become the first QB to win a Super Bowl w/ 2 teams. I live in Madison and Russell Wilson is a God there. Good to see he got a national American Family Insurance commercial gig. They’re based in Madison. Could there be 2 more different demeanors than Wilson and Sherman? The TEAM is going to the Super Bowl but Sherman felt compelled to upstage a great TEAM victory.

  43. AP, A lot of “I and “me” from Sherman in his homily. His TEAM won. If he wants an”I” sport he should box or play tennis.

  44. I watched the Seattle news on TV tonight and it was sad that this business with Richard Sherman’s rant took up about a third of the newscast of the game. A sports commentator on King5 (I believe it was) said there had been some rivary between Richard and the 49’ers player for some time. They had a heated exchange between each other during, of all things, a charity fundraiser that required a third person to pull the two apart.

    about twenty years ago I had the occasion at work where I met with two men who were a pro-football team’s security detail and were also essentially tasked to chaperone the players while they were the visiting team. One of them told me the teams have some stringent rules of conduct while they are out of town (and in-town I would imagine) such as when the players had to be inside their hotel rooms, etc. He told me sometimes the players would commit some infraction and get fined by their team for engaging in high school behavior which happened occasionally.

    The Seahawks coach last night on TV talked with candor about Richard’s outburst and that he was sorry for the trouble it caused, but I imagine the admonishment might have been different in the locker room later.

  45. A “thug” is someone who actually plays dirty or engages in criminal actions. Sherman did not even curse. A “thug” is not someone who is loud and/or makes some white people uncomfortable. I have to agree with those who pointed out that the professor and too many other white people are too free to apply the “thug” label to black men regardless of their actions.

    A vicious fight breaks out 2 seconds into a hockey game and ends up with one coach trying to fight the other coach. Yet this incident doesn’t engender the media and public outrage or racially charged language across other platforms that one verbally animated football player does.

  46. N2002 and Nick — In my book, the pitcher who throws a beanball is the thug. That is trying to injure someone. Or what bellichek accused white guy welker of doing yesterday. Sherman was not.

  47. Words have meanng. Aaron Hernandez, a former tight end for the Patriots, has been implicated in a number of murders. HE’S a thug. I wouldn’t put Sherman in the same category because of his trash talking rant.

  48. I thought it was great, pure human passion. Heart is part of the game. They were still on the field after a very competitive game. Crabtree was also emotional, shoving his face away, it’s passion. Cratree was flat out beaten. The interviewer was lost and really couldn’t control. The term ‘thug’ is racial in this context.

    Should the league or team discipline? It’s their game, they should do what they seem fit for their business. Sherman will see that and take the next step, understand it’s their game and show a little less passion or move on.

    Any high stake competitive venture can bleed out in human passion, we should not be so sensitive to a violent game which billions of dollars are gained by turning humans into mental mush.

  49. Miami Dolphins player Richie Incognito is a thug and white. Also, thug, as I found it, includes in its definition someone who treats others “violently and roughly”. Screaming is a rather rough way to communicate, so language can be used to treat others “violently and roughly”.

    I don’t think I’d go quite as far as calling Sherman a thug, unless he also bullied his teammates, waiters at restaurants, tossed around racial epithets, etc. Bully is a synonym for thug.

    Arrogant, egotistical, obnoxious, immature are all apt words for his outburst and behavior. I hope his coaches called him to the carpet for his lack of professionalism. And, I hope his grandma gives him a stern look the next time she sees him. If I were him, that would nip my less than upstanding behavior in the bud–to think I’d disappointed my grandma!

  50. ap:

    ” Thanks for posting the admission by Sherman: “There are a lot of receivers playing good ball out there, and Josh Gordon needed 14 games to produce almost double what Crabtree can do in a full season. And Gordon had Brandon Weeden, Brian Hoyer and Jason Campbell playing quarterback.”


    He just can’t help throwing other people under the bus and being a jerk. A college degree doesn’t make you educated; it merely makes you trainable. An educated person takes a lot more time and refinement. Anybody can store knowledge.Education means understanding how to synthesize and interpret knowledge without lording it over someone else. Our precocious little man-child has a lot of learning left to do.

  51. WallyBeav:

    Passion’s overrated. Anybody can show passion. Kids do it all the time. Class, now that takes some effort — and restraint.

  52. consiglieri39

    Black folk are just louder than white folk?


    It’s too bad that black men can’t be quieter and more demure like some well-known white men–say, for instance, Ted Nugent, Bill O’Reilly, Chris Christie, and Rush Limbaugh.

  53. nick spinelli

    AP, A lot of “I and “me” from Sherman in his homily. His TEAM won. If he wants an”I” sport he should box or play tennis.
    I would not advocate taking individualism (“I”) out of it.

    He is the best corner like Peyton Manning is the best QB.

    I don’t see a problem.

    Football is individualism within the context of a team. Not a zero sum game. Both are required and valuable.

  54. “It’s hypocritical to rip Seahawks’ Richard Sherman for rant”

    by Bill Plaschke


    On Monday, Sherman showed remorse for his actions in a text message to ESPN’s Ed Werder in which he wrote, “I apologize for attacking an individual and taking away from the fantastic game by my teammates … that was not my intention.”

    But the damage has already been done. This bright and engaging kid who ranked second in his class at Compton Dominguez High before later graduating from Stanford is somehow America’s new sports villain. He is the main reason why many folks will be cheering for the Denver Broncos in the upcoming Super Bowl. He is the latest example of everything that is wrong with the modern professional football player.

    Yet the truth is, he is the example of everything that is wrong with some modern professional football fans.

    A guy fights for three hours and winds up throwing the punch of his life in the most important professional moment of his life, and America expects him to immediately start blowing kisses?

    There is no defense for Sherman’s taunting of Crabtree after the play. He was a crude jerk. This was just another millstone in a career lacking in decorum. He was indeed a bad sport.

    But in his comments later, he was simply the embodiment of his sport. He was a symbol of the mindless recklessness required to play a game that will likely scar him for life, and the dark motivation often necessary to summon that swagger.

    If one scans the wording, it is obvious that some of the criticism of Sherman is rooted in blatant racism. But some of it also seems to stem from a subtle racism. When a white player talks trash, he is considered quirky and cool. But if that same smack comes from a black player with dreadlocks and a snarl, he is a cretin? Sherman didn’t say anything that hasn’t once been said by the likes of Larry Bird and John McEnroe, yet nobody ever called them a thug.

    America would like all of its football players to embrace victory with the class of a Peyton Manning, but most of those players have different jobs than Peyton Manning. Most of those players don’t win games with their arms and brains, but their bodies and their fears. Most of those players have to summon up strength from places unimaginable, building on slights unknown, finding courage in corners both dark and remote. Richard Sherman is one of those players.

    He saved that game for the Seahawks with the boldness that America demands of its football players. His mistake was in being honest about it.,0,4180603.column#ixzz2r2wyX0NB

  55. consiglieri, I have the same lineage and just chuckled. Although, the Italian side were pretty quiet by nature until they started going deaf, and the Irish until they started drinking[~2pm daily].

    Spike Lee grew up in Brooklyn and he has pointed out, many times, the similarities between Italians and blacks, from their soulfulness, love of food, loudness, etc. In the Caucasian lineage I have to put Italians up there in volume w/ some Asians. Some southeast Asians have a loud culture, Japanese are quieter than Norwegians.

  56. consiglieri, I have the same lineage and just chuckled. Although, the Italian side were pretty quiet by nature until they started going deaf, and the Irish until they started drinking[~2pm daily].

    Spike Lee grew up in Brooklyn and he has pointed out, many times, the similarities between Italians and blacks, from their soulfulness, love of food, loudness, etc. In the Caucasian lineage I have to put Italians up there in volume w/ some Asians. Some southeast Asians have a loud culture, Japanese are quieter than Norwegians. It is pleasant that we can have a cultural discussion w/o the hand wringing that sometimes occurs.

  57. Nick,

    He also said this:

    “When I say I’m the best cornerback in football, it’s with a caveat: There isn’t a great defensive backfield in the NFL that doesn’t have a great front seven. Everything begins with pressure up front, and that’s what we get from our pass rushers every Sunday. To those who would call me a thug or worse because I show passion on a football field—don’t judge a person’s character by what they do between the lines. Judge a man by what he does off the field, what he does for his community, what he does for his family.”

  58. mespo727272

    Yes kids show passion this is why they are a sponge for something they have excitement over. If we could just spend a portion of the money on the passion of an education over sports where would we be. I understand he doesn’t meet your ideal of communication. You want to thump your chest, go for it. Your environment, experiences, eduction are just three ‘E’s’ that make up an individual.

    Yes he is young and Manning has been to the rodeo. This isn’t life or death it’s a game, but it ain’t chess. Passion for the game may lead to winning or losing. Sherman getting caught up in the moment needs experience indeed, but the Enthusiasm is a part of the event and having it on my side of the equation is a plus. Regulation of it comes with Experience. Let the kid play he’s very good, that’s why he’s there. As stated, how they want to run their biznez is their business and Sherman will have to weigh that the next time.

  59. Dredd, Funny, I am more of a socialist when it comes to team sports! But, I agree, there is a place for “I” in team sports. Pitchers and goalies get “victories” when their teams win. But, football is different. Certainly, in the NFL, the sport has evolved in that a QB is as important as a pitcher in baseball and I might even abide assigning the W and L’s assigned pitchers and goalies. But, w/ me maybe more than anything else, it’s my being an introvert and having a visceral reaction to loud, be it people, music, noise pollution, etc.

  60. Dave Zirin weighs in:

    “Richard Sherman, Racial Coding and Bombastic Brainiacs”

    by Dave Zirin, January 20, 2014

    Get ready for two weeks of stories that pit the polished Peyton Manning against his supposed antithesis, Richard Sherman. Get ready for two weeks of interesting coverage about how the best quarterback in the game and probable 2013 MVP takes on the best cornerback in the game and the probable Defensive Player of the Year at the Super Bowl. Also get ready for two weeks of utterly uninteresting coverage that paints Peyton as a Southern gentleman in shining armor who will hopefully slay Richard Sherman, Compton’s “loudmouth” dread-locked dragon. There will be more articles, tweets and commentaries from the media bemoaning Richard Sherman’s lack of “class”. There will be even more tweets from so-called fans that sound like press releases from a White Citizen’s Council. There will be a running loop of Sherman’s already “insta-classic” WWE-infused “promo” rant after Sunday’s victory over their rival the 49ers.

    There will be more stomach-churning racial coding than an episode of Fox N Friends featuring Ann Coulter and Billy Packer. There will be right-wingers like John Podhoretz on Twitter, the very people who always whine that the culture is becoming “too soft”, “too feminized” and “too PC” who are as aghast as plantation belles stumbling toward the fainting couch over his behavior.

    There will be less discussion about why so many of the chattering classes demand “class” from a game where people’s legs are broken in half and then replayed endlessly for our entertainment. There will be less discussion about the hypocrisy of demanding that “perfect gentlemen” play a game so dangerous that its own players, and even the president, wouldn’t want their own children on the field. There will be far too many sportswriters not admitting what Sports Illustrated’s Pete Thamel tweeted: that Richard Sherman is a welcome relief from pre-programmed athletes who “play one game at a time, good lord willing, play one game at a time… good lord willing.”

    Sherman is the embodiment of what sports writing legend Robert Lipsyte once said to me was his true initial attraction to Muhammad Ali. “He made my job so incredibly easy,” Lipsyte said. “I just had to write down what he said and the copy was gold.” In fact Sherman has pointed to Ali as an inspiration, saying, “[Ali] understood how to manipulate the world. When he said, ‘The champ is here,’ he probably wasn’t that cocky. He created a persona. He was a leader, an entertainer, and he knew how to break people down in the ring. I didn’t really care about boxing, but I wanted to be like Ali.”

    There will also be less discussion of who Richard Sherman actually is, and the genius of both his preparation and style of play. In fact, when it comes to smarts, skills and psychological gamesmanship, Sherman, is in many respects the cornerback version of Peyton Manning. Just as Manning treats every trip to the line of scrimmage like he’s Hannibal Lecter trying to get into the head of Clarice Starling—OMAHA!—Sherman has a deeply cerebral method to his perceived madness. Read Lee Jenkins’ profile of the Stanford graduate in the July 2013 issue of Sports Illustrated, titled Warning: Don’t Take The Bait. As Jenkins writes, “Whether you think cornerback Richard Sherman of the (NFC champion?) Seahawks is a smacktalk poet laureate or just another loudmouth doesn’t matter. He’s a shrewd, dedicated lockdown defender who doesn’t mind getting on his opponents’ nerves—in fact, he prefers it that way.”

    The article reveals someone who has journeyed successfully from Compton, California, to Stanford, to fifth-round draft pick, to NFL star, which has a degree of difficulty somewhat higher than “son of quarterback becomes quarterback.” As Sherman says in the piece (and this is one of my favorite quotes of all-time), “I’m an awkward guy. People used to tell me all the time, You’re not from here. And that’s the way I felt, like somebody took me from somewhere else and dropped me down into this place. I was strange because I went to class, did the work, read the books and was still pretty good at sports. If you’re like me, people think you’re weird. They pull you in different directions. But those people aren’t going where you’re going. I know the jock stereotype—cool guy, walking around with your friends, not caring about school, not caring about anything. I hate that stereotype. I want to destroy it. I want to kill it.”

    Richard Sherman is consciously an archetype that has been branded a threat as long as African-Americans have played sports: the loud, deeply intelligent black guy who uses this outsized cultural platform to be as bombastic as he wants to be. Whether the first African-American heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson or Richard Sherman, they tend to be painted with only one dimension, which makes it easier for them to be denigrated and demonized. Broncos fans should hope their team does not see Sherman as just some kind of loudmouth. If Peyton Manning’s record-setting receiving corps does not see everything mentally and physically that Richard Sherman is bringing to the table, he will eat their lunch. As his teammate Kam Chancellor said, “I used to tell him to quiet down. Then I saw the results.”

  61. AP, I saw that. I have seen what I believe to be the REAL Richard Sherman, the intelligent, articulate, young man from a strong family work ethic. This loud, brash Richard Sherman is contrived for image and $. Defensive backs don’t get the endorsements unless they create that “Neon” image. Certainly, I don’t begrudge anyone making money. It’s just that it’s contrived and blatantly, “Look @ me.” Personally, I don’t like the “Look @ me” beating your chest in athletes, attorneys, doctors, etc. All this said, “To each their own.” I will defend anyone’s right to admire his act, as I have the right to think it’s horseshit.


    by Greg Howard


    When you’re a public figure, there are rules. Here’s one: A public personality can be black, talented, or arrogant, but he can’t be any more than two of these traits at a time. It’s why antics and soundbites from guys like Brett Favre, Johnny Football and Bryce Harper seem almost hyper-American, capable of capturing the country’s imagination, but black superstars like Sherman, Floyd Mayweather, and Cam Newton are seen as polarizing, as selfish, as glory boys, as distasteful and perhaps offensive. It’s why we recoil at Kanye West’s rants, like when West, one of the greatest musical minds of our generation, had the audacity to publicly declare himself a genius (was this up for debate?), and partly why, over the six years of Barack Obama’s presidency, a noisy, obstreperous wing of the GOP has seemed perpetually on the cusp of calling him “uppity.” Barry Bonds at his peak was black, talented, and arrogant; he was a problem for America. Joe Louis was black, talented, and at least outwardly humble; he was “a credit to his race, the human race,” as Jimmy Cannon once wrote.

    All this is based on the common, very American belief that black males must know their place, and more tellingly, that their place is somewhere different than that of whites. It’s been etched into our cultural fabric that to act as anything but a loud, yet harmless buffoon or an immensely powerful, yet humble servant is overstepping. It’s uppity. It is, as Fox Sports’s Kayla Knapp tweeted last night, petrifying.

    The problem is that it’s not just white folks who feel this way. Last night, Golden State Warriors wingman Andre Iguodala received nearly 3,000 retweets from this:

    (Content of tweet inserted)

    Andre Iguodala ‏@andre Jan 19
    We just got set back 500 years…

    The problem is that too many people think that Iguodala has a point. Too many of us think that one ecstatic, triumphant black man showing honest, human emotion just seconds after making a play that very well could be written into the first appositive of his obituary, is not only offensive, but is also representative of the tens of millions of blacks in this country. And in two weeks time, in the year 2014, too many of us will be rooting for the Denver Broncos for no other reason than to knock Richard Sherman down a few notches, if only to put him back in his place.

  63. AP, When I want analysis on the black culture I’ll go to a black sportswriter, not some silver spoon in his mouth, white, Nation magazine columnist. And, I went to Jason Whitlock who is tough on black athletes and what he calls the “Prison Culture.” I read him regularly and have referenced him here previously. Whitlock said that no one is tougher than he on this behavior but he saw it as spontaneous, w/ testosterone flowing through Sherman’s veins. Whitlock calls it “thuggish” when he sees it as such and he didn’t see it. I trust his judgment explicitly on this topic which is why I have not called Sherman a thug. But, I disagree w/ his assessment that it was not contrived. You might want to come out of your comfort zone and read analysis from experts on certain topics. Zirin is not a bad writer. John Nichols is a great writer for The Nation. I disagree w/ most everything he writes but he knows his stuff. I’m not going to go to him on his perspective of black politicians than I would before say, Clarence Page.

  64. AP, Bryce Harper has had a few fastballs thrown right under his chin whiskers for brash behavior. I’ve never heard anything close from Favre, Harper, or as stated previously, any white athlete as I did from Sherman. Favre got his clock cleaned a few times by warren Sapp. He gave it right back to Sapp. There’s no whining, or shouldn’t be. You want to act a fool, I’ll call you a fool. The color or ethnicity is irrelevant to me.

  65. You might want to come out of your comfort zone and read analysis from experts on certain topics. -nick

    LOL. Ah, the arrogance.

  66. With video:

    “People really misunderstand my son,” Sherman’s father Kevin told CBS2/KCAL9′s Bobby Kaple. “My son off the field is probably one of the best people you want to know. I mean, everything he does is for other people.”
    Sherman’s parents, who were unaware of the interview until well after the game’s conclusion, say that he attended Manuel Dominguez High School in Compton, where he earned a GPA of over 4.0 before attending Stanford as an Academic All-American.

    Sherman reportedly still returns to Dominguez High School, where he was a two-sport athlete, to speak with students about the path to success.

    This is the Richard Sherman his parents want the public to know.

    “My son off the field is probably one of the best, (or) better, people you want to know,” Kevin Sherman said. “I mean, everything he does is for other people.”
    Sherman, meanwhile, released a statement hoping to sway the public’s recent opinion of him.

    “It was loud, it was in the moment, and it was just a small part of the person I am. I don’t want to be a villain, because I’m not a villainous person.”

  67. AP, I read all types of news, left, right, libertarian. You constantly quote The Nation, Huffpost, etc. I have no desire to live in a world where everyone agrees w/ me. And, you’re trying to construct a straw man here. I did not say, nor do I think Sherman is a thug or “villainous.” I find his behavior a personal affront to both my senses and sensibilities. To each their own. I’m not trying to convince you to agree w/ me. I respect the opinion you have allowed others to make for you.

  68. Thuggish? Probably not. Emblematic of the modern pro game with all of its swagger? Yes. But Sherman, a graduate of Stanford (we’ve been reminded repeatedly by his defenders –as if this excuses all behavior) failed basic Sports PR 101 in those few key minutes: He might have walked off the field a winner and immediately pronounced what great competitors his opponents are. But, when he’s ranting about how inferior Crabtree is, he diminishes his own accomplishment. As for the hockey fights that got no attention referenced earlier? The Super Bowl and its run-up contests are watched by tens of millions more people. That’s all. I agree that some folks’ criticism were tinged with racism, but a lot of others would have been just as put off by any other athlete in any other sport. Oh..yeah..and some of the drivel written by sports columnists in defense of rudeness are more of a sensitivity to the fact that football is getting a bit of scrutiny…and other sports are growing in popularity. These sportswriters don’t want to learn about or write about the other sports so they’re defending the to speak. Wankers.

  69. I wonder if this is one of the students the teach from UNC was talking about…. Ya think he really had the grades….. I agree with mespo on this….

  70. Raised in Compton, surrounded by street gangs, Sherman was a straight-A student who took Advanced Placement classes, attended leadership seminars and finished second in his class.

    The son of a garbage truck driver and a social worker, he became the first Dominguez High School graduate in the past half century to receive a football scholarship from Stanford……. Stanford does not have a reputation for going easy on athletes. He did graduate.

  71. AP….Not all who write are worth reading. Not all who read your responses are stalking you…. There are some that just don’t have a fulfilling life and make it a mission to detract and discredit AP please keep posting… If you ignore them it just frustrates them even more…

  72. AY:

    I think he’s a bright kid and probably had the grades. Grades are fine and I think they are important but the bottom line is that he was out of line and has continually been out of line while a pro. That makes him an “A” student with an unsatisfactory citizenship grade. Smart but immature.

  73. iconoclast, Great point about sports writers. They do indeed defend their turf and know who butters their bread. They aren’t as intellectually dishonest as political writers but that is classic, “Damning w/ faint praise.”

  74. You know mespo…. He may have had the grades… No question…. But there are some that still have the grades made up and passed along…. Not saying it in happened in this Case… But I’ve certainly been in classes that were jock classes….. I needed an elective in English….. I was worried about my grade as it was based on one paper…. I talked to the professor…. He said everyone passes his class….

  75. AY,
    Almost all Div.1 schools have lower admission requirements for athletes than for the rest of the students applying for admission. It is sinful that schools give more scholarships and acceptance decisions to athletes than they do for non-athlete qualifiers.

  76. Rafflaw — I’m not sure about your last sentence. Several times while my daughters were in high school and were planning for college they were informed that there is 40x times more in numbers and amount of academic v. athletic scholarships. They both earned stellar academic and extracurricular records and were awarded enough academic aid to go to small, prestigious (expensive) colleges leaving them with little student debt, even with a semester studying abroad. No one else on their HS soccer teams came close in terms of the athletic scholarships awarded.

  77. Elaine,

    I won’t disagree with you on that…. But I will say…. Some schools have professional exam takers…

  78. AY,

    I doubt a high school student could get away with having someone else take an AP exam for him/her at his/her own school. Besides, one has to do the required classwork and homework. It’s different from taking an SAT.

  79. No one has alleged that he cheated on his SAT. Why do some people on this blog have such a hard time accepting the fact that that Sherman really is a highly intelligent person? I think Blouise’s “white privilege” is back at work here. It seems to be a recurring theme among some posters.

  80. Erin Andrews on Richard Sherman interview: ‘I loved it’

    By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

    January 21, 2014 10:24 am ET


    If you watched Richard Sherman live, post NFC Championship Game rant on Sunday night after the Seahawks toppled the 49ers, you probably noticed that Erin Andrews looked some combination of terrified and thrilled.

    It was more the latter than the former, though. Andrews told For the Win that she was never bothered at all by what Sherman did.

    “I don’t want this to look like I was upset with him, I was frightened, I felt threatened, we all like Richard Sherman a lot at Fox,” Andrews said. “At that moment I saw how crazy it was going to blow up, and I wanted to make sure people knew it wasn’t a situation where I’m a victim and he acted like an idiot.”

    In fact, Andrews said it “was awesome” and she “loved it” when Sherman went bananas on camera afterwards.

    “You expect these guys to play like maniacs and animals for 60 minutes,” Andrews said. “And then 90 seconds after he makes a career-defining, game-changing play, I’m gonna be mad because he’s not giving me a cliché answer, ‘That’s what Seahawks football is all about and that’s what we came to do and we practice for those situations.’ No you don’t. That was awesome. That was so awesome. And I loved it.”

    The reason Andrews looked stunned may have been nothing more than physical shock — she said that right before the interview she took a shot to the chin from Sherman’s pads when he gave her a huge hug.

    Whatever the case, she recovered nicely and came with a smart follow-up question to Sherman’s initial rant. Andrews knew Sherman was going off on Crabtree but wanted to make sure and give him a chance to keep ranting and let him inform America himself.

    “I thought I would be criticized if I didn’t follow up, or if I said something like, ‘So anyway, you’re going to the Super Bowl now,’” she said. “No. This guy just went off. Let’s make sure we know who he’s talking about.”

    Sherman’s rant caused some discussion about whether or not he should be screaming into a camera immediately following the game.

    At least one person — the person he was talking to — was totally fine with it though.

  81. Elaine,

    I am not going to disagree with you….. If you’ve ever lived in a state where football players regardless of color get extra special dispensation….. Some will try and make this a race issue….. But there are I am sure just as many dumb white jocks…… Or what ever race you want to debate….. There are some that post on here just to attack other posters…. I know how AP feels….

  82. Or cyber stalking….. It could be called…. I haven’t posted in a couple of days and as soon as I do… I get attacked….. Hmmmm…

  83. Tis true, tis true….. Mirror reflections …… Aren’t loonies a currency in Canada…… But then delusion…. Is not in the mind of the psychopathic….. It’s normal….

  84. Con,

    Everyone is encouraged to post… Blog…. Etc…. But when the attacks are personal…. They are not to be tolerated under the civility rules….. I have no problem conversing with anyone until they start making it personal… If you’ll see…. Elaine and I have a disagreement….. I don’t recall her stating that anyone was making it more than it was… But some called it racial from being white and privileged….. The sword cuts the cloth both ways….

  85. I wasn’t weighing in on your disagreement with them, AY. Merely commenting.

    Maybe I should switch to viewing this blog with the app. I seem to be offending people, left and right, because all the responses appear in order, and not as reply threads.


  87. Leslie, The all caps diminishes a salient point. I threw the situation Erin Andrew’s was had thrust upon her by this assault of the senses. But, you see, there are all sorts of permutations and combinations. If that were a big, fat, white, guy acting like that many folks would rush to Erin Andrews side. Although Andrews, while flustered, stood her ground in the face of this cartoon act and reported admirably.

    Few here probably remember but Erin Andrews suffered HORRIBLE humiliation by a stalker about 5 or so years ago. He photographed her in her hotel room and published the photos on the internet. The scumbag was sent to Federal prison. Being a father, brother, husband, that enraged me and I’ve always had a place in my heart for this woman, in a man’s world, having the courage to just push through that indignity. So Leslie, some folks, burdened w/ white guilt, felt they had to choose. They have to date, not expressed one syllable of empathy for a woman in a man’s world, but much for an angry[I believed contrived] black man.

  88. consiglieri, They both used to but there was a dustup, apparently just before you arrived, that ruffled some feathers. The civility rule posted on top is a result. That’s why you need to stick around and encourage folks to comment. We want all type of commenters, you have been a good addition. And yes, there are miscommunications because this forum is fraught w/ that danger. That is overcome w/ more communication.

  89. People are always confusing dreads with dredds.

    I love dredds:

    But from my perspective, the heat Sherman is getting is not just misguided but ludicrous. This is a guy who represents one of the best kinds of sports stories there is in the world: the rise from the bottom, the profound destruction of obstacles, the honest success story built by a foundation of hard work and loving parents. If anyone with a brain took the time to learn about Richard Sherman, and then put him in the context of the rest of the National Football League, he’d be a pretty hard guy to bash.

    (What Richard Sherman Taught Us About America). America should be disciplined.

  90. N2OO2

    I’m a free speech nut journalism professor and have been take to task regarding my comments about Richard Sherman.


  91. Dizzy Dean: “It ain’t bragging if yo can do it.”

    The best perspective i’ve seen on the story —

    As Dizzy also said: “Anybody who’s ever had the privilege of seeing me play knows that I am the greatest pitcher in the world.”

    Also: “Let the teachers teach English and I will teach baseball. There is a lot of people in the United States who say isn’t, and they ain’t eating.”

  92. “I’m a free speech nut journalism professor and have been take to task regarding my comments about Richard Sherman.”

    Here’s the spell:

    “I’m a free speech nut journalism professor and have been taken to task regarding my comments about Richard Sherman.”

    A good teacher will put a spell on you.

  93. This might get lost in here but Erin Andrews was interviewed on Dan Patrick’s radio/TV show the morning after. The full interview is below and is a bit over 7 and a half minutes long but listen at least to the first minute an a half.

    Remember these sidelines reporters live for this stuff.

  94. Glenn, Good find, thanks. The interview explains some stuff. Andrews is a tough woman in a testosterone filled world.

  95. I still don’t understand why Prof. Turley and others were so offended by the impromptu comments of a professional athlete immediately after he had just preserved a win for a team allowing it to go to his sports’ most important event. Nothing he said was profane. He was simply excited and venting about an opponent with whom he had had prior bad interactions. It is obvious none of the people being critical of Sherman ever competed in a sports event against someone you did not like; I have.

    Nor was I impressed by the “poor” reporter who had ambushed him for an interview as he walked off the field. What did she want from Sherman, the typical white bread comment: “Well, we played hard and they played hard.”
    Maybe she will think twice about shoving her microphone into someone’s face who is obviously amped up.

    Spencer Neal

  96. Sherman is a very smart guy and a very good athlete. He’s also a boorish clod with the emotional maturity of an adolescent. I frankly don’t care because he wasn’t drafted for either his social skills or his compassion, and I do not regard professional athletes as “role” models for anything. We have somehow over the years come to equate professional sports, particularly football, with the highest ideals of Christianity and patriotism. That is nonsense, of course, but it has produced some economic powerhouses.

  97. The Politics Of Smack Talk
    By Charles P. Pierce
    January 21, 2014

    Not long after the San Francisco 49ers got themselves dispatched on Sunday night by throwing the stupidest example of that stupid “fade” route there absolutely ever was, Seattle Seahawk cornerback Richard Sherman went on the electric teevee machine and explained, in vivid detail, why that play was very, very stupid. It was stupid, he explained, because it was aimed at him, Richard Sherman, who is the best defensive back in the world.

    At which point, the Twitterverse, or my little corner of it, lost its mind.

    Initially, I thought Sherman had pole-vaulted over the line of postgame decorum but, then, in seconds, I found myself of the same side of the argument as John Podhoretz and a whole bunch of honkies from whose asses you could not pull a pin with a tractor. Phooey to this, I thought, and joined in the general merriment celebrating Sherman’s impromptu one-man parade in honor of Richard Sherman Day.

    (That said, please, enough with the Muhammad Ali comparisons. The only thing the two have in common is that they are loud and black. History says that’s not enough to make the comparison. Ali’s personality carried with it authentic risks. The entire federal law enforcement apparatus came down on his head. His allegiance to the Nation of Islam not only carried with it a danger as far as the public at large, but also put him on one side of internecine bloodletting that cost that organization its most effective and charismatic leader. The worst thing that’s likely to happen to Richard Sherman is that someone’s going to ask him to make a really bad soup commercial.)

    Personally, I am now glad that Sherman said what he said, not only because it gave us a chance to come to know a fascinating athlete — not Ronnie Lott yet on the field, but getting there — but also because it opened up a window that a lot of people wish would remain closed. (Ta-Nehisi Coates, as usual, was razor-sharp on this, as was Greg Howard.) As the tweets piled up, I thought about some fauxtrage that had erupted earlier in the week. The president gave a long interview to David Remnick of The New Yorker, and one part of it sent the usual suspects off to borrow an extra handful of bootleg Viagra in preparation for lighting their own balls on fire. At the same time, a large chunk of glaciated stupid broke loose and drifted south.

    “There’s no doubt that there’s some folks who just really dislike me because they don’t like the idea of a black president…Now, the flip side of it is there are some black folks and maybe some white folks who really like me and give me the benefit of the doubt precisely because I’m a black president.
    If that isn’t the perfect Barack Obama quote, I don’t know what is. Some people hate the idea of the black man in the White House, but some people think it’s cool, and so it goes. Not only is it the perfect Barack Obama quote, but it is the perfect illustration of the rhetorical limitations that have been put on this president simply because he is the black man we elected. For lack of a less historically freighted term, the president is our common property in the most ordinary times, and these are far from the most ordinary times. From the start, and partly as a result of his own rhetoric, this president has worked within limits much tighter than those within which any of his predecessors have worked. Anger — real, righteous anger — never has been an option for him. Occasionally, it has leaked out — when he called out the Supreme Court, “Continue, Governor.” — but that generally has resulted in a swift stampede toward the fainting couches. Throughout his presidency, I have thought of that moment in The Great White Hope, the one that the exiled Ali once made James Earl Jones re-enact on the streets of Manhattan, where the Jack Johnson character shakes his fists at the sky, and bellows at his distant, cowardly tormentors, “Here…I…is!” That kind of moment for this president always, always had to be subtext, lest it make people nervous about the person on whom they had bestowed this great blessing. He could never be Truman, threatening to kick a newspaper critic in the ‘nads. He could never be LBJ, goddamming his way to legislative victories, one after another. He had to be conciliatory. He could not be the Angry Black Man. After all, we white folks let him be president. Where was the gratitude there?

    I cannot imagine what it is like to be Richard Sherman, a gifted athlete in a brutal, body-breaking, soul-killing sport who is expected also to be diplomatic at the best moment of his career because millions of people he doesn’t know think they did him a favor by letting him excel. I cannot imagine what it is like to be the president, and to be limited even in his power of persuasion by the deep-seated fears of the nation that thinks it has given him permission to be president for a while. What I do know is this, there’s a certain way that black people talk that makes white people crazy, and it’s long past time for that to be the case. I mean, Christ, did you see that play?

  98. Nothing he said on the field was nearly as bad as the reaction to it. Those of you who think racism “no longer exists” should look at the Twitter reaction and also at all of the comments after every article that has been written about him.

  99. My final comment: Turley, you have lost my respect for even bringing up this issue. White privilege indeed.

    Spencer Neal

  100. I would ask Spencer Neal what comments here are racist, but he apparently left in a huff. That is maybe contagious? I know black folk embarrassed by his display, and I know some who think it was OK. Can only black folk disagree w/ loud, obnoxious, classless behavior?

    We have had a nice Pax Romana here. The race card, homophobe, sociopath, psychopath, accusations have almost disappeared. I find this discussion involving race, and the limited discussion involving the gay porn star pretty civil. Apparently Mr. Neal sees it differently. C’est la vie.

  101. I had no idea why this was a topic except for JT’s interest in football. The player was pumped up from the game. Apparently he’s a really good player, his team won due in part from his great playing. He certainly wasn’t anything like the usual interview. I don’t think he could say much that was worse than the violence on the field,

  102. I have to agree with what Mike Appleton wrote above. If being a boorish clod wins football games that is the stereotype that can be tasked to win football games which is what the team wants. We of course would rather have civil and Honourable players, but the skill trumps most everything.

    Sometimes the stereotypes are what works best. If I want to buy a hunting rifle, I am not going to a gun shop run by yuppies. I want a good old boy shop run by a guy who wears red & black checkered flannel shirts and has heads of deer and elk mounted on the walls. If I want a muffler replaced I’ll go to a shop that has a muffler man constructed of tubes and mufflers in the parking lot and has girlie calendars and hot rod pictures hung on the walls. Why? Because these two live and breathe mufflers or guns and I get the best knowledge and service from these guys.

    So if getting a winning player means the occasional verbal outburst stereotype, I guess it could be said it is better than hockey players kicking each other’s arses in front of a crowd cheering them on. I would rather have civility in football, don’t get me wrong, but the Seahawks won and I live in Washington so I guess I can look the other way:)

  103. This guy is a disrespectful punk. The Broncos and Peyton Manning will shut him up for good. He shouldn’t even be on the same field as Peyton and all of the Broncos as they are do superior to him and the score will reflect.
    He doesn’t even deserve the attention he’s getting. If he has a college degree then he is showing how smart he really is. He should be fined $100,000 dollars for this to show that the football league isn’t going to put up with players making the rediculus money they make acting like this. He should make $50,000 a year at best. I bet his team mates don’t even want him on the field for the Super Bowl.

  104. He also said he was shocked by some of the racists responses he received.

    “It was really mind-boggling the way the world reacted,” Sherman said. “I can’t say the world, I don’t want to generalize people like that because there are a lot of great people who didn’t react that way. But for the people who did react that way and throw the racial slurs and things like that out there, it was really sad. Especially that close to Martin Luther King Day.”

    “I learned we haven’t come as far as I thought we had,” Sherman added. “I thought society had moved past that.”

  105. Thanks for the link, swarthmore mom. (Yesterday, you rightly raised the issue of “white privilege”. Racism and white privilege run deep, as we know.)

  106. “If we cannot agree that this type of conduct is improper for a professional athlete in a game, we have surrendered far too much in our expectations for a civil society.” -Jonathan Turley

    Much of the “civility” that we see is simply a veneer that masks the ugliness beneath the surface.

  107. There was no doubt racists who pounced on Sherman. But, by the definition of the self appointed white nanny’s here, if you find Sherman’s cartoon act[That’s what Michael Wilbon, a black sportswriter calls it] offensive, then you must be racist or this contrived and lame “white privilege.” It is whiter folk like that, who don’t have any close black friends, that are the biggest barrier to having any honest discussion. You are clueless about race because you live in a lily white world.

  108. “You are clueless about race because you live in a lily white world.”

    LOL, st. nick. There you go again, jumping to baseless conclusions.

  109. They are not baseless. Anyone who has a close relationship w/ black people can pick out the lily white ones. I was taught by black folk how to do it.

  110. ap,

    Of course, anyone who perceives things differently from the world’s foremost expert on everything is wrong. He’s in the habit of making snide comments about people who disagree with his view on issues–especially women. I’m one of the so-called clueless self-appointed white nannies. Ah, to live in my wonderful lily-white world. If only I could be omniscient and know everything about everyone like the world’s foremost expert. LOL!


  111. “The double standards sports players of color face must be addressed by American sports institutions and their fans alike in order to ensure a truly equal playing field.” -Nirali Beri, ACLU


    An Unequal Playing Field: A Response To Richard Sherman’s Post Super Bowl Playoff Game “Outburst”

    By Nirali Beri, Legal Assistant, ACLU, Racial Justice Project at 10:14am


    The social media world immediately went berserk. While “boastful” and “competitive” could likely be used to describe 90 percent of NFL players, insults against Sherman quickly veered into racist territory — he was referred to on Twitter as a thug, jungle monkey and, you guessed it, the n-word, by thousands of people.

    Sherman responded with a sharp op-ed in The MMQB, but this incident highlights how blatantly unequal the standard for the level of appropriate “aggressive” behavior continues to be between American sports players of color and their white counterparts. Someone like Marshall Henderson, a white Ole Miss basketball player has been caught over the years repeatedly bullying other teams, terrorizing his own fans, objectifying women and testing positive for drug use, but in headlines Marshall’s inappropriate conduct only reflects his “inner rebel” and “passion.” In July 2013, Riley Cooper, a white wide receiver on the Philadelphia Eagles was filmed at a Kenny Chesney concert shouting racial slurs at an African- American security guard. Yet, less than six months after his outburst, Cooper’s success on the football field has been said to have put his actions in the “past” and the Philadelphia District Attorney even went so far to suggest that a Super Bowl win would redeem Cooper.

    On Sunday night Sherman did not antagonize 49ers or their fans, nor did he rely on profanity and racial slurs to get his point across, he simply boasted about his (well-founded) abilities and, as Andrews put it, showed “pure joy” after making a “career-defining, game-changing play.”

    Americans are pouring hundreds and millions of dollars into a sport that is predicated on 250 lb. men crushing each other with pure aggression, but when a player of color speaks with the same intensity that he is urged to play with, he is racially targeted and disgraced. The double standards sports players of color face must be addressed by American sports institutions and their fans alike in order to ensure a truly equal playing field.

  112. I do not live in a lily-white world. I have family members and friends who are African-American and we’re pretty much all in agreement that Sherman did nothing out of the ordinary, or out of the bounds of good taste (under the circumstances). But I guess we’re pretty tolerant of those “loud black folks.”

    Thank you for clarifying the situation, Elaine. I was a bit perplexed.

  113. Let’s inject some positivity into this discussion. Back when the GREAT Hank Aaron was chasing the Ruth HR record, he received serious death threats that were monitored by the FBI. Hank Aaron was the antithesis of Richard Sherman and his act. But, Hank played baseball in the South and knew the hurt and fear of racism. Hank tweeted to Sherman his support. I am as sure as I can be Hank doesn’t abide the act, but he has empathy for a fellow black athlete having racial epithets thrown @ him.

    Any good actor uses real emotion. When I went undercover[real acting], I used life experiences to sell it. Sherman has been cultivating this “Neon Deon” act since he came to the NFL as a 5th round pick. He had that “chip” that Mespo wrote about recently. If you’re a 5th round pick, @ cornerback, you are a nothing burger. Well, Richard Sherman wanted to be a Neon Deon Sanders, as stated preciously. So, he has cultivated this act. As much as the joy of HIS TEAM[no mention of his team in his rant] going to the Super Bowl, the incredibly bright and intelligent Richard “Neon” Sherman knows the center of ALL MEDIA is the Super Bowl. As a cornerback, even an All Pro cornerback, he doesn’t make the money of a QB, running back, wide receiver. He makes a great play to help his TEAM[he’s one of 40] win the game. He has real emotion. A sideline reporter calls him over and this intelligent man w/ a cultivated act sees a great opportunity..cue “Neon.” Richard wants wealth and Neon is his chosen path to wealth. I applaud his wanting wealth, I just don’t like the path he’s chosen to achieving that wealth.. The way to wealth, in Richard’s mind is to create this offensive, egotistical, cartoon character. Well, that is Richard Sherman’s choice. White and black people who understand sports see this quite clearly. So, if you want to create this anti-hero, you have to accept the consequences of it. The racist reaction is wrong. But, a very bright and intelligent Richard Sherman can’t be “shocked” by this. I see that as an act also. It’s all a promotion package. I don’t like the product. Many white people w/o racism or this phony “white privilege” as well as many black people don’t like the act either.

    A final question on this mythical “white privilege.” Do all white people have it or are you folks imbued w/ a higher level of intelligence, empathy and enlightenment to avoid that original sin?

  114. Consiglieri, Let me ask you a question. I’m not talking about the black family and friends, but just of the black culture in general. Do you think they’re louder than white culture?

  115. nick spinelli

    There was no doubt racists who pounced on Sherman. But, by the definition of the self appointed white nanny’s here, if you find Sherman’s cartoon act[That’s what Michael Wilbon, a black sportswriter calls it] offensive, then you must be racist or this contrived and lame “white privilege.” It is whiter folk like that, who don’t have any close black friends, that are the biggest barrier to having any honest discussion. You are clueless about race because you live in a lily white world.


    I’m a barrier to having an honest discussion? Please explain how. BTW, I never mentioned/used the term “white privilege.”

  116. Ah, what to aspire to when one is expert in all things?

    Elaine I made another one of your wonderful almond cakes for my granddaughter’s birthday party, it was a big hit, thanks again.

  117. annie,

    I haven’t made that cake in quite some time. It is a family favorite though. I don’t bake as much as I once did. I’m too busy being a clueless lily-white nanny!


  118. I do not think “they” are. I think there are many loud, obnoxious people in the world. They come from all walks of life. Some even manage to be “loud” and obnoxious without speaking, at all.

  119. Lily white people carry w/ them a certain amount of guilt. They are down w/ the struggle of black folk but just can’t seem to bring themselves to associate w/ them. So, these people, burdened w/ the very negative and unproductive emotion of guilt, overcompensate by calling anyone who has an issue w/ a black person, clueless, insensitive, ignorant, etc. And then there is the coup de grace, RACIST!!!

  120. WaPo Columnist Rips Racist Reaction to Richard Sherman: ‘Plantation Politics’ ‘Permeates’ Society
    by Noah Rothman
    January 20th, 2014

    Washington Post columnist Clinton Yates ripped into America’s reaction to a fiery postgame interview with Seattle Seahawks’ cornerback Richard Sherman on Monday’s The Lead with Jake Tapper. Yates said that the reaction to Sherman’s interview was racially insensitive and an example of how “plantation politics” continues to characterize American life even in subtle and unconscious ways.

    Tapper asked Yates to weigh in on the social media reaction to Sherman’s speech, much of which was characterized by users hurling racist insults at the NFL player. “America, loud, screaming black men are not, by default, dangerous or thugs,” Yates said directly into CNN’s cameras.

    “These sort of plantation politics that people allow to move into their mindset about everything permeates way too much of society,” Yates added. “I really don’t appreciate it and I think it’s something that people need to understand why they feel that way.”

    “It’s not just because they happen to be racist, but it’s because this is the way America works,” he concluded.


    FYI: Clinton Yates is Black.
    Watch the video at the link posted above.

  121. “So, these people, burdened w/ the very negative and unproductive emotion of guilt, overcompensate by calling anyone who has an issue w/ a black person, clueless, insensitive, ignorant, etc. And then there is the coup de grace, RACIST!!!”

    I must have missed all the name-calling by the ladies above.

  122. Objection your honor. We have stipulated that there is much racism in the world and that some of the reaction to Richard Sherman is racist. Opposing counsel CONTINUES to hammer @ a point that has been conceded and that we all agree upon. Please your honor, out of respect for the jury and all in this courtroom, can you ask counselor Elaine to cease w/ the gilding the lily. As the jury and everyone but opposing counsel seems to understand, the question @ hand is the actions of Mr. Sherman in his interview on national television. The question before the jury is specific and will be part of the jury instructions. That question quite simply is, “If you are offended by Mr. Sherman’s actions during that interview that does that make you racist?”

    Court: Counselor Elaine, why do you constantly beat this dead horse. The point has been conceded, now move on w/ your case.

  123. Consiglieri, We have a different interpretation of enmity. I consider that a strong word. And, you are correct, the folks that have used those strong words in the very recent past, have left. I have never called anyone here a racist, homophobe, sociopath, etc. But, those words still ring in my ears. You should spend some time as I do reading some archives. It will help you understand the history.

  124. Know-it-alls carry with them a huge amount of swagger. They put down the opinions of those who disagree with them, call them clueless, and can’t seem to just argue their position. These people think they should always be the arbiters of what is right and what is wrong. They’re in the habit of perpetually judging and disparaging others. They claim to know all things about all people and their personal lives—even when they have never even met them.

  125. Spinelli claims that I left in huff. Sorry, I just got bored and had other things to do.

    I found it offensive that Turley and others claimed that Sherman’s non-profane post-game rant was “thuggish” but never explained why, under the circumstances, it was improper, let alone “thuggish.” I thought it was colorful and entertaining.

    Spinelli also thinks that I accused others of being racist. Does the use of the term “white privilege” mean that? I did not see Prof. Turley call out the real thuggish behavior recently of those professional hockey players who instead of playing the game tried to beat each of other up. Of course, those hockey players are overwhelming white.

    Finally, Prof. Turley, why did you allow Spinelli call Elaine a nanny? What about your “civility code”?

  126. I cannot continually monitor the comments and I wanted to throw a flag down on the play for this thread. I knew that this subject would be controversial. I do not agree that objecting to Sherman’s conduct is racist. However, that is part of the debate over this controversy. I would ask however for everyone to give each other a tad more respect in debating the issue. I am always amazed by the need to personalize these issues and dismiss the other side as unthinking or uncaring robots. It is possible to be critical of such conduct without being a white elitist and it is possible to defend Sherman without being an apologist. We do not need name calling like “nanny” or “white privilege” directed against individual posters while discussing these issues. I try to allow the widest possible latitude in such areas where people feel so passionately. Passion is good. Personal attacks is not. I think it is possible for people to discuss this controversy without resorting to name calling or assuming that the other side is a bunch of racists or nannies or ninnies. Is it so difficult to discuss these issues without making it personal? Both sides have allowed themselves to slide toward personal insults in this thread. I am not deleting any comments but I am asking for folks to please address the issue and not posters or just move on to another subject or, if you find civility an impossible challenge, move on to another blog.


    Richard Sherman’s H.S. coach: ‘He was just like T.O.’

    By Marc Sessler
    Around the League Writer

    Published: Jan. 22, 2014 at 11:51 a.m.

    Richard Sherman’s high school coach Keith Donerson says it didn’t take long to realize that the future Seattle Seahawks All-Pro cornerback was going places.

    Starring as both a defensive back and wide receiver at Dominguez High School in Compton, Calif., Sherman reminded Donerson of another quick-to-speak-his-mind NFL luminary.

    “He was just like Terrell Owens; he wanted the ball,” Donerson told USA Today High School Sports this week. “A lot. He was never shy about asking for the ball.”

    “It’s fourth-and-one and he asks for the pass,” Donerson continued. “I told him to wait until we get the first down and he’d be like, ‘Oh coach, it’s like that! You don’t believe in me?’ Then I throw it to him and it ends up being an incomplete pass. So when he comes to the sideline I’m like, ‘Richard, what’s going on?’ He looked at me and said, ‘Don’t worry, I’m about to get it back for you right now.’ And he ends up picking the ball off.”

    Said the coach: “That’s a perfect example of who he was for us and who he is now.”

    Fast forward to present day, and Sherman and the rest of Seattle’s nasty secondary have earned reputations as a film junkies, scanning tape deep into the night to pinpoint the weakness in their next opponent. When Donerson joined “NFL AM” on Wednesday, he was asked if Sherman was the smartest player he ever coached.

    “Yes … by far,” said Donerson, who offered just one piece of advice for Sherman’s Super Bowl showdown with Peyton Manning:

    “Richard, be Richard.”

    End of excerpt.

  128. Will do, Mr. Turley. This is an important topic and I commend you for posting it. I apologize for my part. But in the words of Bob Wiley, “I’m doing the work..I’m baby stepping.”

  129. No one reads law review articles its just an excuse for big firms to make new associates sound prestigious I know law review students they say it is the biggest bullshit ever

  130. Seahawks’ Richard Sherman Is Not a Thug. Stop Calling Him One
    Shocked by the racist reactions to his televised outburst, Sherman defends himself against critics.
    By: Stephen A. Crockett Jr.
    Posted: Jan. 21 2014

    There was a moment in the NFL version of the Hatfields and McCoys that could have ended the blood feud. It came at the end of the game Sunday, after Seattle’s Richard Sherman batted a pass intended for San Francisco 49er Michael Crabtree into the arms of a teammate, causing an interception that would seal the victory for the Seahawks, sending them to the Super Bowl.

    Sherman walked over to Crabtree with his arm extended as a show of come-togetherness but Crabtree pushed the defender’s helmet hard. So goes the way of the most heated and hated rivalry in sports today.

    It was this emotion, that shunning of sportsmanship, that was still ringing in the 24-year-old’s helmet when he walked off the field and onto national television to call Crabtree “sorry” and he would later add “mediocre.”

    It was the face of Sherman and his dark skin and flailing dreads that had some people take to Twitter to call Sherman a “thug” and a “n–ger.”

    From behind a computer keyboard and a 140-character-limit wielded by the hands of the ignorant, a 24-year-old Stanford graduate was assaulted with arguably some of the most troubling words in the American lexicon.

    This is the battle and the passion and the ugliness of American history played out in violent sport, rolled into a sound bite and then released into the Internet-mosphere. It is a Twitter-sized snapshot of the trouble that white America has with an outspoken black athlete. It was a moment that captured both the hate that the Seahawks and 49ers have for one another on the field and, more importantly, the deep-rooted hate some feel when a black man speaks freely about his legacy…

    Look, Richard Sherman grew up in the gangsta capital of Compton, Calif., and I am sure he can point out a thug with ease. I am also positive that thugs don’t star in both football and track and field while having the second highest GPA of their graduating class. But that was Sherman, who broke records in both sports while attending Dominguez High School and also made sure to stay firmly grounded in the classroom.

    He still considers the day he signed a national letter of intent to play football at the Stanford University as one of the proudest moments of his life.

    “It was unbelievable,” Sherman told the Federal Way Mirror about the signing. “It was a great accomplishment for me and my family. It was a great symbol for people from where I’m from.”

    What fans forgot Sunday is that hate is a part of the history of sports, which is rooted in rivalries and trash-talk. The hate that happened on Twitter is a deep hate that continues to divide the country.

    Think about this: A 24-year-old fifth-round draft pick had just made the biggest play of his career to send his team to the Super Bowl, and right before he walked on-camera his bitter rival (who allegedly tried to fight Sherman at a charity event last year) punched him in the helmet. What happened next was real and raw, but it never veered into the land of vile, menacing or thuggish.

    “To those who would call me a thug or worse because I show passion on a football field—don’t judge a person’s character by what they do between the lines,” Sherman wrote in a column posted on “Judge a man by what he does off the field, what he does for his community, what he does for his family.”

    Sherman frequently talks with high school students about making good decisions in life, and recently launched Blanket Coverage, The Richard Sherman Family Foundation, which helps kids get school supplies and clothes.

    “But people find it easy to take shots on Twitter, and to use racial slurs and bullying language far worse than what you’ll see from me. It’s sad and somewhat unbelievable to me that the world is still this way, but it is.”

    If being a thug means being salutatorian of your high school with a 4.2 GPA and 1,400 SAT scores, graduating from Stanford, delivering on your promise of greatness and showing no ability to humble-brag—then the black community could use more thugs like Richard Sherman.

  131. Mr. Neal, Firstly, “My final comment” stated by yourself seemed pretty unequivocal. When that statement is followed by a statement that you have lost respect for Mr. Turley certainly you can understand that was your signing off from this blog. I’m glad you’re still here and hope we can discuss this and other topics in the future. “The more the merrier” is what my mom would say. She grew up in a family of 13 kids!

    Regarding your second paragraph, I have stated previously and say again, I did not call Sherman’s behavior “thuggish.”

    Your third paragraph is weak. I’ve never seen Mr. Turley discuss hockey. Maybe he’s a Blackhawk’s fan but hockey fans are like a cult. If someone is one[my son is maybe the only Colombian hockey nut fan and player in the world] you know it. But, let’s consider for the sake of this discussion, Mr. Turley is a hockey fan. Does that make him having some agenda by pointing Sherman and not the routine thuggish behavior on the rink. The culture of both sports are different. If you watch hockey[I watch w/ my son and go to games, I LOVE it in person] there is none of the chest thumping, in your face, screaming @ other players. There certainly isn’t the screaming after the game that “I’m the best.” In hockey, someone high sticks you, checks you into the boards, etc. there aare virtually no words spoken. The gloves are dropped and there’s blood on the ice.

    There is something about hockey, a game that is 4th on my list[baseball, football, basketball, hockey], that brings a tear to my eye. It is in hockey that the tradition of lining up and shaking hands was started. As a baseball coach, I HATED how that tradition was been made absolutely meaningless by REQUIRING it after every game. Only after the end of a Stanley Cup series, games, after these 2 teams have pummeled each other for 7 games, do they line up and shake hands. The warriors acknowledge the other warriors. They look each other in the eye. They converse. They hug. IT MEANS SOMETHING.

    Again, I’m glad you returned and hop you stick around.

  132. Richard Sherman And The Plight Of The Conquering Negro

    It was so powerful, so raw of a reaction that Andrews needed a moment before proceeding. The league’s best cornerback had made the best move of his career on the biggest play of his career to win the biggest game of his career, against an opposing wide receiver and college head coach with whom he shares not a little bad blood. This was a triumphant moment, and still to a lot of people there was something viscerally ugly about Sherman standing over a pretty blonde woman, yelling into our living rooms with an emotional mixture of joy, relief, and excitement, arrogance, and anger. Dude was turnt up.

    Millions of Americans took to their cell phones, to social media, to the bar patron next to them, to cluck at Sherman. We called him classless, a bad sportsman, a troll. We called him a monkey and a nigger. We threatened his life. We said that he set black people and race relations back 30, 50, 100 years.

    Because in that moment, Sherman—a singular kid from Compton who won both the athletic and intellectual lottery so completely, so authoritatively, that he spent three years playing on Stanford’s football team at wide receiver before converting to defensive back and becoming the NFL’s best at the position—was in the public eye. In that moment, whether he knew, cared, or neither, Richard Sherman, a public figure, became a proxy for the black male id.

  133. Richard Sherman’s Best Behavior
    There’s some weird notion in our society that holds that trash-talking is for the classless and stupid.
    Ta-Nehisi Coates
    Jan 20 2014

    A few points of biography: Richard Sherman is a the son of sanitation worker and teacher. He finished second in his class in high school and then went to Stanford. He graduated from Stanford with a 3.9 GPA. Here is how Sherman describes his introduction to the school:

    “I was with kids from prestigious private schools, and they were drawing comparisons between Plato and Aristotle,” says Sherman. “A lot went over my head. I hadn’t even read The Iliad yet. I had to check out all these books just so I could know what everybody was talking about.”

    Here is what Richard Sherman is doing now:

    Beverly and Kevin now live in a well-landscaped community in Compton, but she still works for Children’s Services and he still drives his truck every morning at 4 a.m., a Seahawks sticker plastered across his helmet. Their home is wallpapered with pictures of their children: Richard, Branton and 22-year-old Kristyna, who runs a hair salon out of the Shermans’ garage. (Seahawks receiver Sidney Rice is a client.) The first photo you see, upon opening the front door, is of Richard’s commencement ceremony at Stanford.

    Across the street lives an English teacher from Dominguez named Michelle Woods who charters a bus every spring break for Dominguez students to visit colleges throughout California. “Most of them think Cal State is their only option,” she says. When Sherman was at Stanford, he made sure the bus swung by Palo Alto, and he led the tours himself. “I’m here; you can be too,” he told the group every year as he advised them on classes and grants.

    Here is how Sherman describes himself:

    I’m an awkward guy. People used to tell me all the time, You’re not from here. And that’s the way I felt, like somebody took me from somewhere else and dropped me down into this place. I was strange because I went to class, did the work, read the books and was still pretty good at sports. If you’re like me, people think you’re weird. They pull you in different directions. But those people aren’t going where you’re going. I know the jock stereotype—cool guy, walking around with your friends, not caring about school, not caring about anything. I hate that stereotype. I want to destroy it. I want to kill it.

    I don’t think this is what people think when they see Sherman trash-talking. There’s some weird notion in our society that holds that trash-talking is for the classless and stupid. I don’t know what it means to be “classless” in an organization like the NFL. And then there is the racism from onlookers, who are incapable of perceiving in Sherman an individual, and instead see the sum of all American fears—monkey, thug, terrorist, nigger.

  134. Elaine:

    that is a great video. He seems like a decent guy. Who would react to this in a racist way? You would have to be a moron to do so. He is a young man who is excited about going to the Super Bowl and was making a point to a fellow player.

    People are way too up tight these days. Maybe they would have been happier if he had laid some Stanford education on them? Something the majority of whites are unable to attain. Could be a little jealousy if you ask me.

  135. An interesting article, IMO:

    “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack”

    “I was taught to see racism only in individual acts of meanness, not in invisible systems conferring dominance on my group”

    by Peggy McIntosh

    “Peggy McIntosh is associate director of the Wellesley Collage Center for Research on Women”

  136. Bron,

    I’ll admit that I thought Sherman was a punk when I first heard his rant. Then I read some things about him that changed my mind. I think it best not to make snap judgments about people of whom we know so little.

    BTW, I posted an excerpt from another article that went to the spam filter and I haven’t been able to retrieve it. I’ll post the link again–as well as a shorter excerpt:

    Richard Sherman’s Best Behavior
    There’s some weird notion in our society that holds that trash-talking is for the classless and stupid.
    Ta-Nehisi Coates
    Jan 20 2014

    A few points of biography: Richard Sherman is a the son of sanitation worker and teacher. He finished second in his class in high school and then went to Stanford. He graduated from Stanford with a 3.9 GPA. Here is how Sherman describes his introduction to the school:

    “I was with kids from prestigious private schools, and they were drawing comparisons between Plato and Aristotle,” says Sherman. “A lot went over my head. I hadn’t even read The Iliad yet. I had to check out all these books just so I could know what everybody was talking about.”

  137. Bron, There are some racists. Sherman knew this would bring them out. He’s been doing this stuff for a couple years and has had shouting matches w/ sportswriters like this brief rant. The fact that some of this response in the US is racist HAS BEEN STIPULATED TO any NO ONE here has yet to say otherwise. The horse has been beaten to death and they’re searching the stables for another. There are other issues related to this that some just can’t get to because they’re stuck on their boilerplate mindset when discussing matters of race. This is much more about money than race.

  138. Richard Sherman, the NFL and a Glimpse Behind the Curtain
    By Matt Jordan
    Posted: 01/22/2014

    Most of the time, we would rather avoid uncomfortable truths that are right in front of our eyes because they force us to reflect on the things we hold dear. Instead, we tend to shame those who would dare draw our attention to the truths hiding in plain sight. For me, and many others, football is one of those favorite things.

    Richard Sherman’s epic display of bad form during and after the NFC Championship on Sunday reveals several truths about the NFL, and about the cult-like worship of Big-Time sports in society, that we might want to avoid. We shouldn’t.

    “I’m the best corner in the game. When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree, that’s the result you gonna get. Don’t you ever talk about me…LOB”

    In the days since, the man whom the NFL network described as the “best trash-talker in the league,” has been denounced in sports media, and the Twitter-sphere has been atweet with commensurate displays of bullying bravado that reveal how nasty people can be and just how threadbare our social fabric is.

    Sherman is a star because he is physically gifted, aggressive and seems to thrive on taunting other players. On a raw level, this is the recipe for primetime success in the NFL. Distilled to its essence, what he said is ‘you all made me what I am because you love gifted, aggressive players who talk trash and are willing to stomp the competition. I am just performing your own desire back for you. LOB.’

    Too much truth; But just as quickly came the well-orchestrated walk back by Sherman, apologizing for “attacking an individual and taking attention away from the fantastic game by my teammates.” Then came the hand-wringing and public relations massaging by coaches, sports writers and the league, calling Sherman “emotional” at best, and a “disgrace to the game” at worst, and focusing on players who are better weavers of our collective dream. And so, a teachable moment that reveals volumes about our disproportionate investment of time and resources in Big-Time sports will be lost as people rally around their love of the game. The conjuror distracts the eye with one hand, while picking the collective pocket with the other.

    Sherman deviated from the normal script, and for that he will be the focus of attention in the two-week media binge building up to the Super Bowl. He is an uncivil man who has succeeded in a game that values uncivil behavior on the field. A graduate of Stanford with a degree in communications, Sherman has stirred up controversy before with his candor and knew exactly what he was doing on Sunday. He knows that his role in the media spectacle is to generate buzz. For performing his role, he will be pilloried — insofar as everyone will be talking about him – by sports writers, the only growth sector of journalism left in our society. Why? Because, as Sherman knows, our society pays way too much attention to what people with athletic prowess have to say because we can’t seem to take our eyes off of them.

    Because Americans can’t seem to turn away from the spectacle of Big-Time sports, it has taken over a huge swath of our public discourse and gobbled up an enormous slice of our public wealth. In our public schools, our love of distraction makes us spend more on cheerleading than we do on math, school breakfast for poor kids, or special education for the disabled. In higher education, our love of distraction means that we often define the success and failure of our major public universities by virtue how their football teams do. We heap money on coaches while cutting the public resources that could, and should, be spent on providing affordable education to young people. All across the country, as budgets for education are cut, budgets for big-time college sports grow like a cancer. Instead of addressing this poor allocation of resources, or at least trying to recoup some of that money from the media companies or commercial interests that profit from it, we are distracted by the spectacle and unable to have a serious conversation about what we ought to be investing in. No matter what we teach in the classroom, by our ritualized celebration of spectacularized sports, young people learn to think of themselves first as fans. What we get from this monstrous psychic economy is a society in which Shermanesque behavior is rewarded in the real economy because we can’t seem to talk about other ways to spend our time and money.

  139. I’ve been searching for support from teammates of Sherman. I pointed out the Hank Aaron support, Hank is a gem. However, although searching for it, I have not found one teammate having Richard “Neon” Sherman’s back! But I did find a new tweet from Sherman. “I apologize for attacking an individual and taking attention away from a fantastic game by my TEAMMATES. That was not my intent.” Gee, hasn’t that been the salient point made by some of us folks here??


    “In the end, those 20 seconds in front of the camera on Sunday night was just a small glimpse of Sherman, which many will use to define the cornerback. But to those in Compton, from former coaches and teammates who know the whole makeup of No. 25, those 20 seconds were just a look at the warrior side of Sherman, still coming down from the moment of battle.

    They didn’t see the outstanding student or the motivating teammate, whom they refer to as family. They didn’t see the ambassador to a city whose parents still live there and who still comes back to the school to speak to the kids. The player and man Compton is happy and proud to call one of their own.”

  141. “The Fan host Steve Sandmeyer tells John Feinstein that the Seattle Seahawks don’t care how Richard Sherman acts since he backs it up with his play”

  142. AP, Thanks. But, if his teammates do “absolutely love him” they’re not showing it. Reporters talked incessantly about what a great guy Kirby Puckett was. Turned out he was a wife beating, sexual harassing, lush.

    Sherman’s coach Pete Carroll gave a tepid, “That’s Richard being Richard.” Maybe they’ll say something during the Super Bowl interviews. But, I know they don’t want a distraction from preparation either. We’ll see.

  143. Richard Sherman’s former Compton coaches, teammates respond to controversial NFC Championship postgame interview

    To those who know Sherman from his days as a standout student-athlete at Dominguez High School, the interview was nothing out of the ordinary. Especially since it was mere moments after making one of the biggest plays of his career.

    “He was still in his game mode and was challenged by an opponent,” said Dominguez athletic director Darryl Smith, who was also Sherman’s former track coach. “He was excited about what he had accomplished. Richard has always accepted challenges.”

    “I said, ‘Whoa, this man is hyped.’ He’s definitely in the moment.” said Marvin Johnson, Sherman’s former quarterback and teammate at Dominguez. “I know he made some strong comments, but I’m on his side.”

    But Sherman’s interview did have a negative impact after sending the sports world and social media into a frenzy, causing a flood of criticism as sports pundits and articles called out his humility and professionalism. Social media postings and comment threads could be found lashing out with racist remarks and referring to him as a thug. On Monday, Sherman penned an article for Sports Illustrated’s MMQB, defending his comments and speaking out towards those judging him based off those 20 seconds in front of the camera.

    “To those who would call me a thug or worse because I show passion on a football field — don’t judge a person’s character by what they do between the lines,” wrote Sherman. “Judge a man by what he does off the field, what he does for his community, what he does for his family.”

    The controversial interview comes on the heels of the release of a new Beats by Dre headphone commercial that depicts Sherman being questioned by dozens of reporters, specifically addressing questions about Compton and his “reputation as a thug.”

    But the idea of the word thug being used to describe Sherman makes those back in Compton laugh.

    “Richard was like a nerd with his glasses and his books in his hand,” said Smith. “But he became a gladiator on that field.”

    His former head football coach, Willie Donerson, who still works with the program, remembers Sherman sitting quietly on the team bus, bringing books to the pre-game meal and back from games. But the negative association with Compton fuels a not-so-positive image of Sherman.

    “We have that stigma (in Compton) and it’s going to be with us for a long time,” said Donerson. “But we have some great, great kids here.”

    By all accounts, Sherman was one of the best to come out of the city and the school, not just as an athlete but as a student and a person before going on to Stanford. And even in his teenage days Sherman was known for his mouth, even if it was directed at teammates.

    Donerson remembers Sherman trash-talking three players, not for poor performances on the field, but in the classroom, saying if they kept slacking off in academics they could never accept their scholarship offers. The players eventually brought up their grades and went on to college.

  144. Sherman dissed his Seattle teammates w/ his selfish rant and it was those teammates of which I was speaking. He has apologized to his Seattle teammates as I commented earlier. Please let me know if you find anything from them. Thanks.

  145. Debra, That’s WAY over the line and an insult to our host. Have you no shame? Do you know anything about Mr. Turley? Did you read his comment from earlier today?

  146. I would like someone to cite me to a specific team or NFL rule that Sherman might have violated. Absent that, people are just substituting their own ideas of what is acceptable behavior and it is not up to them.

    BTW Hank Aaron apparently had no problem with Sherman’s comments.

    Spencer Neal

  147. Debra, don’t take scolding by certain persons to heart. You have a right to express your opinion, unless the rules have changed again.

  148. No need for folks to defend me on the Sherman issue. I appreciate the effort but I more appreciate the exchange on this issue. I remain unchanged in my view of Sherman’s conduct as boorish and unprofessional. It has nothing to do with race, but I appreciate those who view criticism of such a black athlete as racially sensitive, particularly in calling conduct “thuggish.” I disagree. I found his yelling at the camera and interviewer to be thuggish. I would find the same conduct thuggish in a white player and we have had plenty of occasions to criticize poor conduct by people of all races on this blog. I have long objected to how our society makes excuses for conduct that is uncivil and unprofessional. We have particularly discussed how football stadiums are becoming magnets for drunks and thugs. I clearly have a different view of such conduct. I have objected to excessive celebration of players and taunting for years. I view Sherman as an example of a race to the bottom in personal responsibility and demeanor. Many disagree and some have even said that they love this type of trash talk from athletes. So be it. However, once again, let’s argue the issue and not make this personal. I have found the points on both sides of this debate to be provocative and interesting. Race is a sensitive subject. It would behoove all of us to consider whether opposing views are expressed in good faith and not some racist or apologist agenda. I love the fact that this blog has people on different sides of such questions. I assume that everyone is coming to the debate in good faith and not some inherently hateful or flawed bias. I have deleted a couple comments that are continuing to personalize the debate in the hopes that we can continue without clouding the issue. If not, move on to a new subject.

  149. Jonathan,

    I’ll have to continue to disagee with you on this issue. What Sherman did pales in comparison to what a public school teacher said about her students on a public blog. Yet, you defended her behavior. I know that Natalie Munroe worked for the government–a public school system. Still, I found the comments she made about some of her students to be not only unprofessional…but also vile, profane, and vulgar. Should a professional football player be held to a higher standard of behavior than a public school teacher?

    Teacher Suspended For Writing Critical Comments on Her Personal Blog

    On the blog, Munroe complained that her students were “rude, lazy, disengaged whiners” and admitted that she dreamed of giving parents an honest appraisal of their children. Some of the alternative “canned comments” were pretty funny and were clearly not meant for the students to read. They included “rat-like,” “dresses like a streetwalker,” “frightfully dim,” and “whiny, simpering grade-grubber with an unrealistically high perception of own ability level.”

    Superintendent N. Robert Laws said last week that the blogged complaints were “very egregious” and “certainly could result in termination.” I certainly agree that this matter raised very egregious conduct, but of the school not the teacher. Teachers have free speech and have a right to vent about their profession.


    Some of the other comments Munroe posted about her students:

    • “I hear the trash company is hiring.”
    • “Rude, beligerent [sic], argumentative f**k.”
    • “Am concerned that your kid is going to come in one day and open fire on the school. (Wish I was kidding.)”
    • A complete and utter jerk in all ways. Although academically ok, your child has no other redeeming qualities.
    • Lazy asshole.
    • Two words come to mind: brown AND nose.

  150. “It would behoove all of us to consider whether opposing views are expressed in good faith and not some racist or apologist agenda.”

    I think it would also behoove some of us to consider whether we are so imbued with our own cultural construct that we are unable to recognize one’s inadvertent promotion of a racist agenda.

    Boorish is a good word. Makes one seem erudite. Talking street cred when one is an ivory tower type is no cred.

  151. “Reaction to Seattle Seahawks’ Richard Sherman’s rant gets discolored”

    “Instant media and, yes, racism stoke ire fire”

    By Paola Boivin, columnist azcentral sports Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:57 PM

    I can’t think of Richard Sherman’s obnoxious diatribe without thinking of Arizona State’s Tau Kappa Epsilon “MLK Black Party.”

    Think about it. If 19-, 20- and 21-year-olds believe it is OK to honor Martin Luther King Jr. with gang clothing and watermelon cups, then how many 30-, 40- and 50-year-olds still see the world through a prism of blatant racism?

    Bigotry is one of several narratives we shouldn’t ignore in discussion about this super-sized fiasco.

    Sherman’s rant on Sunday after the Seattle Seahawks won the NFC title that included criticism of San Francisco 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree was self-serving and brash. Humility, not bravado, is the lesson those of us parenting young athletes prefer to see.

    But the decibel level to which the outcry reached, and the angry, offensive language attached to it by many, suggests we are a society that still operates on an uneven playing field when it comes to sports and race.

    Don’t believe it? Search “Richard Sherman” and the n-word on Twitter, and see how many times it pops up.

    Much of the racism is more subtle than that. It is code words like “thug” that are applied disproportionately to Black athletes. Rae Carruth? A thug. Richard Sherman? A Stanford graduate and salutatorian of his high school class?

    A smart man with a smart mouth.

    The crazy part about this story line is that it appears to have started in the Valley.

    Last April, at an after-party event at the W Scottsdale hotel following Larry Fitzgerald’s charity softball game at Salt River Fields, Sherman went to shake Crabtree’s hand near the pool. Instead, Crabtree tried to start a fight, Sherman’s older brother, Branton, told the Seattle Times.

    “I’m going to make a play and embarrass him,” Branton said his brother vowed that day.

    The seed was planted.

    After Sunday’s uproar, Sherman wrote for that “a lot of what I said to (interviewer Erin) Andrews was adrenaline talking, and some of that was Crabtree. I just don’t like him.

    “It was loud, it was in the moment and it was just a small part of the person I am.”

    And it was tasteless. Sherman could take a cue from Fitzgerald about how to react after success. With humility. Gratitude. Decorum.

    He didn’t and deserves to be scolded.

    But not with such vitriol.

    The overreaction was tinged with racism. But it also had to do with the media world we live in.

    A story breaks and spreads through the dry brush of traditional media and social media. Trigger spots are everywhere: on television and radio, in newspaper commentary and on Twitter and Facebook.

    The sheer volume of discussion catapults the story into a stratosphere that suggests greater importance.

    In many cases, that’s a good thing. Social media, for example, is a great place to trade ideas, share news and start discussion. But abbreviated messages tend to lack context. Information transforms into misinformation.

    It is a fact those in the spotlight need to remember.

    Sherman appears to have come to appreciate the magnitude of his words. On Monday, he issued an apology via a text to ESPN’s Ed Werder, saying, “I apologize for attacking an individual and taking the attention away from the fantastic game by my teammates. … That was not my intent.”

    That’s what Sherman surely regrets most. He made himself the story, when the accomplishments of his team should have been.

    We enter dicey territory when it comes to interviewing athletes immediately after games. For three hours, NFL players surf a wave of intensity that is hard for the rest of us to appreciate.

    Andrews stuck a microphone in his face when his emotions were still very raw.

    Without context, it sounded awful.

    Many athletes figure out how to flip that switch. Sherman, not appreciating how powerful his words were, clearly hasn’t.

    The backlash was inevitable, former Cardinals linebacker Seth Joyner told Brad Cesmat on Sports360az.

    Said Joyner: “This was an opportunity for someone with a bigoted attitude or racist attitude to take advantage of this because Richard Sherman is Black, and, ‘Hey, he’s just acting the way that Black people act.’

    “You can’t do anything to change the ideas of how people think. You just roll with it like anything else. … But it’s ignorant to assume because he’s Black, he acts that way.”

    It is ignorant but unfortunately a real reaction by some.

    We’re not as civilized as we like to believe.

    Just ask the fraternity brothers at Tau Kappa Epsilon.

    End of excerpt

  152. About the ASU party, mentioned in the comment posted at 8:53 p:

    “Civil rights leaders are calling for the expulsion of members of the Arizona State University chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity who planned and participated in a Martin Luther King Jr.-themed party that mocked black people.”,0,3463169.story#ixzz2rBN5HF5f

    Again, as Paola Boivin, with azcentral sports, noted:

    “We’re not as civilized as we like to believe.

    Just ask the fraternity brothers at Tau Kappa Epsilon.”

  153. This kind of thing is another reason I pulled the plug on cable TV. Not worth watching, and the more I learn about the post-concussion obfuscation by the NFL, and coverup of college athlete illiteracy by college administrators, the less inclined I am to watch football.

    I quit watching baseball during the player’s strike.

    Newton Minow was right in 1961 when he described television as, “…a vast wasteland.” More recently he observed that it was indeed a vast wasteland in 1961, but, “Now it is a toxic dump.”

  154. One of my objections is that people who have never been involved in athletic physical endeavors cannot understand what it means to be in the moment but are willing to call someone a ‘THUG’. I have been there. Have Prof. Turley or Spinelli been there? From their comments, I doubt it.

  155. Mr. Neal, I lettered in football for 3 years in high school[OT]. I lettered 2 years in baseball[my love] and then injured my eye and throwing shoulder playing football, ending my baseball days. I have coached baseball from Little League to Legion Ball for 30 years. I’ve spoken about this previously but understand you’re new. Disrespecting the game, the team, the opponent or the umpires was unacceptable and not tolerated. Many kids know how to act. Some don’t and so it was my job to teach them what was acceptable behavior. If they showed up anyone, their ass was on the bench. I benched kids when I only had 9 players, using 2 outfielders. I only had a few kids who didn’t change their negative behavior. In 70’s and 80’s it wasn’t that much of a problem. In the mid 90’s it got worse and worse. I haven’t coached for the last 8 years or so.

    When I went to dinner in downtown Palm Springs this evening I had a thought. There is the famous Palm Springs Follies that has run for years in the historic Plaza Theatre. All of the performers in this burlesque event have to be over 60. They always have a headliner and this closing season it’s Maureen McGovern. Remember her?? Well, these folks exiting the theatre and heading for the early bird specials reminded me of my parents. But, the truth is, I’m almost their age. Then it hit me. This controversy is not just about race..but race does sell. As I’ve said previously, it’s also about money. But, my God, how could we have missed this, it’s also generational. Think of TRULY great black players on team sports. I’m not asking you to go back to the 40’s and 50’s. I’m saying just 15-20 years ago. Richard Sherman is a good cornerback. He’s not yet great, he’s good. Jim Brown, Barry Sanders, Walter Payton, Franco Harris, Jerry Rice, I could go on. In basketball, the greatest player of all time, Michael Jordan. I offer Kareem, Magic, Clyde Drexler, again I could go on. These were GREAT players, not some cornerback who made a great play. They would NEVER had acted like this. And, like Mr. Turley, I am not willing to lower the bar and make this type behavior acceptable. Any kid who played for me was taught the very simple concept. Respect and honesty builds trust. And to be a team you need all 3. But the trust part is precious. One betrayal, and it could be lost forever. THIS is what is important.

  156. John530, Thanks very much for the Russell Wilson quote. Mespo knows Russell Wilson well from his youth football days. Wilson is a class act. Hopefully he can have a positive influence on Richard Sherman. Sherman needs some mentoring that only a black teammate can offer. He couldn’t so any better to have Russell Wilson as his mentor.


    “The word ‘thug’ has been used so many times by the same sort of people about the same sort of thing that it’s no longer even accurate to call it code—it’s really more of a shorthand. It means a black guy who makes white folks a little more uncomfortable than they prefer. On Sunday night, Richard Sherman made a lot of people uncomfortable. Then on Monday, people said thug on TV more often than on any other day in the past three years.”

  158. “Sherman needs some mentoring that only a black teammate can offer.”

    Yeah, it would be nice if one of the more docile thugs teaches this thug how massa wants him to act.

  159. (with video, esp. comments about Erin Andrews (: )

    … [Seahawks quarterback] Russell Wilson…

    Wilson came to Sherman’s defense Wednesday.

    “Richard has tremendous character,” Wilson said. “He got fired up and I guess you would call it a mistake. But I know that’s not how he is. He is one of the most intelligent people you will ever meet. He’s one of my good friends, and I love him to death.

    “Richard is an unbelievable football player. I have tons of respect for him. He plays the game of football with tons of passion and tons of fire. It was one of those things where he just got excited. I know he apologized. He’s a great teammate who always is focused on how he can improve and how he can help us win. He didn’t mean to blow it all up.”

    Sherman said he was grateful for the people who came to his defense the past few days, including baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron.

    “There were countless individuals, and Hank Aaron was one of them,” Sherman said. “A lot of people reached out with support and I appreciate all of it, people who really know who you are and what you stand for. They are not as quick to judge.”

  160. Between the Lines: Latest Episode in Unforgivable Blackness: Richard Sherman Is Nobody’s Racist (or Fool)
    January 23, 2014

    *It doesn’t take much for America to backslide into a mean-spirited racial discourse, where it can take something as simple as the passion of a heatedly contested battle at the end of a conference championship football game, and turn it into something sinister and evil.

  161. Uncomfortable?? I’ve had guns pointed and fired @ me, and some cartoon figure screaming ON TV makes me uncomfortable? Sell your snake oil somewhere else.

    Some of you find that behavior acceptable. I do not. Can we just leave it @ that.

  162. What does anyone here know about Richard Sherman…. He plays professional football, he went to an outstanding school, he appears to be intelligent, he’s black, he was excited about winning and going to the Super Bowl…. I think he tried to congratulate the opposing team mate and was shunned…. Does this warrant this type of coverage… Only because his team won a deciding game….

    Racist will be racist…. Regardless of color of skin….. It’s usually the trump card that gets played when you have nothing else intelligent to say……

  163. Dog…. In responding to Sherman…. Marching to the sea… Wrong side of the country…… Many yeas ago…..

  164. Racist Response to Sherman’s Rant

    Nothing like an innocuous American sports classic to reveal an ugly layer of racism. After Seattle Seahawks’ Richard Sherman post-game victory rant rubbed some people the wrong way, the Internet exploded in racial epithets directed towards him. Tweets included calling him a “jungle monkey” and “typical gorilla n—-r.” Richards responded in a post on MMQB “people find it easy to take shots on Twitter, and to use racial slurs and bullying language far worse than what you’ll see from me. It’s sad and somewhat unbelievable to me that the world is still this way, but it is. I can handle it.”

  165. Cartoonish obnoxious people comment loudly in all walks of life, wear different skin tones and have varying levels of intelligence. To jump to conclusions and use racial buzz words to describe one of them is transparent and indicates an underlying racism all too prevalent amoung people who should know better. Ignorant people obviously don’t know better, but still don’t deserve to get a pass. We all know what the term thug connotes and what ethnicity it is used to disparage. Now if the person in question really was a thug, a street fighter, a criminal sort, I could see using the term, but to attempt to pin this “thuggery” on Sherman is wrong, he doesn’t deserve that. I’ve sensed that in the past few years it’s become too easy to use racial buzz words and then claim innocence and outrage that we as a society need to be so politically correct. Political correctness is a way in which a civilized society displays sensitivity to others and keeps us from slugging each other in the chops, unfortunately it doesn’t always work. Using peer pressure to reign in those who want to act uncivilized, we can steer folks into behaving, but why attach a racial connotation to it?

  166. Nick,

    “Thanks very much for the Russell Wilson quote.”

    No problem.

    “Hopefully he can have a positive influence on Richard Sherman. Sherman needs some mentoring that only a black teammate can offer. He couldn’t so any better to have Russell Wilson as his mentor.”

    I disagree that he needs mentoring. I have heard nothing but good thing about the man, including from David Shaw. Mr. Sherman seems to have a good head on his shoulders and I don’t find him to be a “cartoon character”. I think in this instance his behavior was a little over the top, but I am compelled to believe that he is a man of tremendous character, not only because he seems to be an outstanding teammate, but because it takes tremendous character to take the route he did to get to the NFL.

  167. “Ignorant people obviously don’t know better, but still don’t deserve to get a pass.”


    As a youngster I described the results of a lengthy negotiation thusly: “I chewed him out of $40.” The person I was speaking to kindly informed me how I was casually slinging around a racist expression. At the time, I had never met a Jewish person. The person i was talking about wasn’t Jewish. I’m pretty sure none lived in my little town. Regardless, I never used that expression again, even in its corrupted form.

    I was glad to be corrected.

  168. I will also be careful of the use of the word “thug” henceforth. Sherman is not a thug. George Zimmerman is. See the difference.

  169. Now, without elaborating, I’ve seen a lot of thugs over the course of the past several years and, it just so happens, that almost all of them are white. And some of them are cops.

    As “annieofwi” said (and I agree):

    Now if the person in question really was a thug, a street fighter, a criminal sort, I could see using the term, but to attempt to pin this “thuggery” on Sherman is wrong, he doesn’t deserve that.

  170. Richard Sherman Was Mic’d Up vs. Michael Crabtree So You Can Hear His Sportsmanship (VIDEO)
    The Huffington Post
    By Chris Greenberg
    Posted: 01/23/2014–up-michael-crabtree_n_4640849.html

    It may have been sportsmanship that got Richard Sherman into trouble rather than a lack of it. The Seattle Seahawks’ All-Pro cornerback was fitted with a microphone for the NFC Championship Game and audio released by the NFL on Wednesday night sheds light on the heated moments before he delivered the boastful and rancorous postgame interview that stole the spotlight from his team’s victory.

    Sherman helped seal his team’s spot in Super Bowl XLVIII by deflecting a pass intended for San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree with just 22 seconds remaining in the NFC title tilt. After the victory-securing deflection, Sherman got to his feet and again chased down Crabtree. As the wide receiver was walking back toward the 49ers’ sideline, Sherman slapped him on the butt and said “Hell of a game!” Sherman repeated those words and extended his hand to Crabtree. Rather than accepting the handshake, Crabtree shoved Sherman. He pushed his left hand into Sherman’s facemask.

    The audio and video released by the NFL on Wednesday fits with Sherman’s account of events from his column about the incident and ensuing criticism for “The Monday Morning Quarterback.”

    “I ran over to Crabtree to shake his hand but he ignored me,” wrote Sherman in a piece published on Monday. “I patted him, stuck out my hand and said, ‘Good game, good game.’ That’s when he shoved my face, and that’s when I went off.”

  171. Well, it looks like there was a rush to judgment here, making accusations without knowing the full story. Will there be apologies forthcoming? I doubt it.

    Spencer Neal

  172. Changes nothing in my book. There was bad blood between the 2 regarding a handshake @ a prior event, not football related. To go up to a guy, w/ whom you have been trash talking to the entire game, and after a heart crushing loss, STICK you hand out and say, “Good game.” Well, that doesn’t pass the smell test to me.

    There’s a rule about heart recipients. The program allows some time to elapse before allowing the recipients to contact the donor family. The reason being it is the extreme of emotions. The recipient family is jubilant, the donor family heartbroken. Now, there’s obviously no bad blood between the donor and recipient families, but they’re in 2 different worlds.

    Mr. Neal threw down the gauntlet believing I never played. Well, he was wrong. Let me pose a question to all the people who have allegedly competed. You are playing an entire game. A guy is trash talking and taunting you[that’s Sherman’s schtick]. You just miss a game winning touchdown by a couple inches. The entire season from those July 2 a days, to playing a long season, abruptly ends. Then, this trash talking guy comes over and shoves his hand out. Mind you, there is bad blood between the 2. Hell, there is bad blood between Sherman and every receiver he covers. That alleged sportsmanlike action is really passive aggressive trash talking. Anyone who can’t understand this hasn’t competed. Your team beat the other team. The scoreboard says all that needs to be said. You don’t rub it in. I saw the footage of the hand out. It looked in your face to me. Nothing happens in a vacuum. There’s always context. There’s always a backstory. Believe me, that was my biz.

  173. Terence Moore, a black sports columnist, wrote a good piece for CNN. The more and more I read watch and talk w/ black guys I know, it is liberal white folk abiding Sherman’s unprofessional and hostile rant. You gotta laugh.

  174. I don’t see the discourse between the two players as a racial issue. I only see what Sherman said on TV after the event. As I suggested early on, I consider his actions reprehensible. As he was doing the whole game, say what you think of the guy to his face, not to a TV sports reporter after the game.

  175. rafflaw,

    It was what people said about Sherman after the game that made it a racial issue. Did you read some of the comments about Sherman that people Tweeted? Many of those comments were truly reprehensible.

  176. Elaine,

    Just because someone is educated does not mean that they possess wisdom….. There are racist of many different races…. Privileged or not….

  177. “Erin Andrews and Richard Sherman pick up where they left off”

    By Laken Litman 4 hours ago

    “In case you missed it, Erin Andrews had the interview of the year with Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman following the Seahawks NFC Championship win Sunday. Sherman set up the interception that sent his team to the Super Bowl and following the play, mocked San Francisco 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree.

    Despite many people thinking Andrews was uncomfortable with the situation, the Fox sideline reporter told For The Win she loved the interview. She also said she immediately reached out to Sherman and the Seahawks following the Twitter blow up to make sure they knew all was well.

    “That was awesome,” she said. “That was so awesome. And I loved it.”

    Thursday, just four days after the interview, Andrews was back in Seattle interviewing Sherman again. This time for a Super Bowl pregame feature.”

  178. We can think what Sherman did after the game on Sunday was inappropriate, boorish, reprehensible. That doesn’t mean we can’t also think that many people are making a mountain out of a molehill. We can also be troubled by the fact that some sick individuals even made it into a racial issue. So…Sherman did some trash talking. That makes him a thug? Tom Brady dropped the F-bomb on national TV while chasing a referee after a game. Nobody called that reprehensible or suggested that Brady acted like a thug.

  179. Elaine,

    Now that’s funny…. It has already been suggested that I am….. Racism knows no color boundary….. I suppose in a sense when my mom was growing up catholic in a midsize town in Kentucky…. She was from what she says forbidden to talk to those that were not catholic…. So I guess when she got to the real world she discovered many forms of racism…. Color of skin, religion or not…. She taught us to be tolerant and play nice with everyone…. Regardless of difference…..

  180. ap,

    I’m no longer able to retrieve comments from the spam filter. I haven’t even been able to dig my own comments out since I signed onto a new Turley blog WordPress account yesterday.

  181. Elaine,

    I am glad you’ll still be guest blogging as well as blogging here…. How is your granddaughter ….. Julia if I recall….

  182. AY,

    Julia is the joy of my life. She is just fine. Now that I’ve moved I get to see her every day. We spend lots of time reading books, making puzzles, and building with Legos. She’s nearly two-and-a-half years old.

  183. I suppose you’ve figured out that youth is wasted on the young….. Reminds me of the short story turned into a movie… The incredible case of Benjamin buttons….

  184. Sherman said Wednesday his postgame comments Sunday were ”misdirected and immature” but he is not a villain or a thug. -ESPN article, below

    “Commish not a fan of Sherman’s rant”

    Updated: January 23, 2014, 9:29 PM ET (with video)

    Add NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to the list of those not pleased with Richard Sherman’s rant following the Seattle Seahawks’ victory in the NFC Championship Game.

    “No, I’m not cheering for that,” Goodell said on “CBS This Morning” on Thursday, referring to comments Sherman made about San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree following the Seahawks’ thrilling 23-17 victory last weekend. “(Sherman) is such a great young man. He is extremely well-spoken, does great things off the field, obviously a great player on the field. I want him to present himself in the best possible way and make sure that he is reflecting on himself and his family in a positive way.”

    Goodell also thought Sherman’s actions took away from the Seahawks advancing to the Super Bowl, where they will face the Denver Broncos.

    “He took away a little bit from the team, that’s what he said yesterday, and I think that was a very interesting comment and I think that was fair,” Goodell said.

    Sherman said Wednesday his postgame comments Sunday were ”misdirected and immature” but he is not a villain or a thug.


    …which pretty well sums up an overblown incident that should have been a blip on the post-game radar. It’s the reaction to Sherman’s outburst that, clearly, merits our attention, IMO.

    And while we might like to think of ourselves as a civilized society…, from my perch in the cage, we’re not there yet. Not even close. And it isn’t guys like Richard Sherman who worry me.

  185. The comment didn’t post. Presumably someone freed it from the comment cage. That’s it. End of that little story. But go ahead. Spin it.

  186. nick spinelli on 1, January 24, 2014 at 10:38 am

    Was blind but now I see.


    That’s good, nick. Happy for ya.

  187. ap,

    “…which pretty well sums up an overblown incident that should have been a blip on the post-game radar. It’s the reaction to Sherman’s outburst that, clearly, merits our attention, IMO.”


    I agree.

  188. Interesting comments. As usual, Elaine provides insight and was joined by a few (I’d name them but miss some.)

    Some things I learned:

    Most football player interviews are at least 5 minutes after the game so they have a cooling off period, time to let the adrenalin move to more normal levels. The Sherman interview was immediately after a stupendous play that not only won the game, it won the team a place in the Super Bowl, and it was against a player with whom Sherman had had bad interactions in the past and who refused a hand shake/good game interaction with a physical response. His adrenalin was super high, even so, it was bad form to diss another player. He has since apologized.

    The interviewer was not at all intimidated, loved the interview, and has great respect for Sherman. Would the reaction have been so racist if she were not an attractive blond white woman?

    The racist reaction that called him names, including “thug” is inexcusable. He is not a thug, nor was his interview “thugish”. It was raw, it was emotional, and exactly what I’d expect from any player given the full set of circumstances. Based on the REACTION to Sherman’s very honest interview, I hope he has an outstanding game against whatever team they play in the Super Bowl. (Don’t tell me what the other team is. I obviously don’t follow this violent sport and I really don’t care what the other team is.)

    re: white privilege. It’s something that all white people in this country have. None are excluded, although poor whites have less of it than well-to-do whites, they have more of it than poor POC have. Those who are aware of their privilege either use to their own advantage, and thereby further the racist structures in the country, or they try to mitigate its detrimental affects on those who don’t have it by trying to break down the racist structures. There are also many who deny its existence and their own complicity in furthering the racism that oppresses so many. Of the three, denial seems to be the most prevalent on this blog.

  189. This white privilege meme confounds me. I have some questions. Do Asians and Latinos have white privilege. If you are mulatto but look pretty white do you have white privilege-lite? If a white person marries a black person and they have kids does the white member still have white privilege? Are there camps to rehabilitate white privilege. Since white privilege sounds an awful lot like the Catholic Original Sin, can we come up w/ a baptismal rite to cleanse us of white privilege?

    Early on in this thread, before it got whacko, I said this was about money. The very intelligent Richard Sherman has been creating this anti hero character to try and make some serious $. He makes about 500k but that’s small potatoes compared to wide receivers, QB’s etc. And hell, 3rd string catchers in MLB make that. Well, I was watching Jake Tapper today and he had a segment on Sherman. His agent just announced Sherman signed a $5 million dollar endorsement deal for a national campaign for some unnamed company. Unlike some here, I applaud people making money and becoming rich. I detest the obnoxious, rude, cartoon act, but I applaud this young man hitting the jackpot. And, for the record, you can call me honky, peckerwood, white trash, dago, wop, greaseball, WHATEVER you want, if I can get $5 million for it.

  190. I know some will be relieved to know that the NFL has dealt with a “thug”:

    Seahawks’ Richard Sherman fined $7,875 for taunting

    Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman earned the kind of exposure money can’t buy with his play and his antics at the end of last weekend’s NFC Championship Game.

    The NFL is taking a little of his actual money, though. A league spokesman said Friday that Sherman has been fined $7,875 because he “unnecessarily taunted his opponent.”

    Sherman also drew a flag for taunting after tipping the victory-clinching interception to teammate Malcolm Smith in the final minute of Sunday’s 23-17 victory over the San Francisco 49ers, sending the Seahawks to Super Bowl XLVIII.

    After the play, Sherman offered a handshake to 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree, who shoved him away, and flashed a choke sign he said was aimed at quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Crabtree was not fined.

  191. Erin Andrews on Richard Sherman interview: ‘It was awesome’
    Posted on January 23, 2014
    By Ari Liljenwall

    “It was awesome because I’ve done so many interviews that are just so cliché and so rehearsed and the same old same old where you feel like you’re sleepwalking,” Andrews told Emily Zemler. “This is one where I was like, ‘What is happening right now?’ I’ve never been a part of something like that, and obviously that’s why everyone nationally is talking about it.”

    Later in the interview, Andrews even says that Sherman is one of her favorite players.

    “I actually really like Richard Sherman a lot,” she said. “He’s probably one of my favorite football players. The guy is so smart and he’s got an unbelievable story. That was just pure, raw emotion.”

    Andrews’ Twitter account told much the same story, as she posted several pictures with Sherman on Thursday morning after taping a segment for next week’s Super Bowl coverage.

  192. America’s racial double standard: White celebs are excused, but black stars are “thugs”
    White stars escape the judgment Richard Sherman received — even if, like Justin Bieber, they get arrested

    Following the NFC Championship game last weekend, Richard Sherman gave an interview to Erin Andrews. He yelled to millions watching in their living rooms about being the best and shutting down opposing receiver Michael Crabtree. However, following his interview, he somehow morphed from a football player who had just reached the pinnacle of sports achievement into a racial stereotype.

    Suddenly he was “classless,” a “thug” from Compton, and any manner of other negative terms that one can substitute for the N-word. Sherman was no longer human, but a racist caricature.

    Black people exist in a “damned if we do, damned if we don’t” space within American conversation. If a black person does something that’s seen as negative, that negative behavior is used as yet another example of how “we” are. Negative behavior, so it goes, is just inherent in “us.”

    On the flip side, if a black person achieves something positive, the positive achievement is often dismissed as either undeserved or the result of an innate gift the achiever can’t take credit for. Many people believe President Obama only got into Harvard because of affirmative action, and just as many believe he was only elected into office (twice, no less) because he is black. In sports, the success of white athletes is most often attributed to “smarts” and “hard work,” but the success of black athletes is often attributed to “natural ability” or “God-given” talent.

    In 1999, when Brandi Chastain whipped off her shirt to celebrate the U.S. Women’s World Cup win, photos of her celebration landed her on the covers of Newsweek, Sports Illustrated and Time magazine. She described her spontaneous action as “momentary insanity … the greatest moment of my career, and I lost control.” However, when the black men of the 2000 Olympics gold medal 4×100 team removed their shirts in celebration, they were called a “disgrace.” And Serena Williams was harshly criticized for doing a popular L.A. dance when she won her Olympic gold medal (and, as Gawker’s Cord Jefferson notes, called a “thug” when she argued with an ump).

    When Ryan Lochte represents the U.S. on the international stage wearing grillz, it’s a fashion statement — all anyone wonders is “can he pull it off?” However, Trayvon Martin is called a “thug” for wearing the exact same thing (google “Trayvon Martin grillz thug” and the same for Ryan Lochte).

    And Richard Sherman, the high school salutatorian who graduated from Stanford with a 3.9 GPA, has now been reduced to an uneducated unsportsmanlike “thug” in the American lexicon for giving a passionate interview that some people didn’t like. Black hockey player Ray Emery was subjected to similar dismissiveness. When he was involved with a fight with fellow goalie Braden Holtby, he was widely called a “thug,” a moniker never attributed to any of the dozens of white players who fight at nearly every hockey game. And white players who break the hearts of opposing team’s fans with game-winning plays never get the kind of vitriol that was directed at Joel Ward for scoring the winning goal in a playoff game.

  193. Spinelli

    I was captain of my college wrestling team in the -60sI,. l also practiced tae kwon do from age 55 to 60 and won three national championships. I am now an overweight 65 year old. I am also non-white. Any time that you want to take me on in a martial arts setting, let me know.

  194. The Broad Street Bullies, Philadelphia Flyers teams of the 1970’s, brought the beleaguered city of Philly from out of the basement of sports by winning the Stanley Cup. They were called a team of “thugs” continuously by the press for many years. Dave Schultz was their chief “thug enforcer.” The Oakland Raiders were known as a team of “rogues” and “thugs” w/ many of their white players, like Phil Villipiano, being some of the biggest “thugs.” I could go on. At least Beanie Barnes is black, but she doesn’t know much about sports. Give me a veteran sportswriter like a few I’ve mentioned[Wilbon, Whitlock, Moore], not some wet behind the ears reporter who obviously doesn’t know shit from shinola.

  195. Wow Mr. Neal, Lot’s of hostility. The truth is a mofo but it’s not worth threatening to assault someone. I’m a man of peace. It hurts that I called this one right a couple days ago. But, don’t be goin’ all Grasshopper, Kung Fu, Karate Man on me. I think you’re better than that and Mr. Turley has weighed in on the personal stuff being unacceptable. Just like Richard Sherman’s rant. I think you have potential as a good commenter. Don’t get your ass run by the boss, that would be a waste. And, I’m not bullshitting, I mean what I just said. Keep it civil.

  196. g2-9e689c6d0ab2b831a1672cd65f2dc5f2,

    Nick just told you he “called this one right.” Nick is ALWAYS right! And Nick is the one who is always here to give other people advice about their blog behavior. He’s the guardian of the blog. Don’t go tae kwondoing him…or nothin’. I don’t know what we poor benighted people would do without him.


  197. mespo,

    Who cares if it was theater? That’s not what the argument here has been about. If it was theater–does that make Sherman a thug? I think some people are missing the point that others of us have been trying to make. The racist and vile reaction to Sherman’s interview was unconscionable. It is what we find way more troubling than his rant.

  198. Mespo, Here’s what continues to amaze me. This act was obvious. The motive was transparent. This was easy. Everyone spoke about Sherman’s book smarts. But, he is also street and people smart. He is a man w/ a plan.

  199. The vile and racist reaction was all part of the plan. To shine the light brighter. Race SELLS. As Malcolm X said, “You been hoodwinked, sold a bill a goods, you been bamboozled.” The racists hit their marks and spewed their venom, just like Sherman knew they would. The hand wringers came right in on cue, as predictable as the sun. And Sherman laughs all the way to the bank. He NEEDED the racists, he needed the hand wringers, to keep this from ending after just one news cycle. Book smart, street smart, and people smart. Mr. Sherman is doing just fine. This was all part of the marketing plan. No Wall St guy could have pulled this one off. The Mad Men would be proud.

  200. Sherman fully expected the reaction he got. If so, he played everyone for the fool exposing both racists and hypersensitive apologists and people tired of arrogant jocks filling the airways for their own peculiarly gain. There is something pretty vile about rabble-rousers wrapped up as carney hucksters.

  201. mespo,

    I’m a hypersensitive apologist because I’m concerned about the way some Americans responded to Sherman’s rant? I didn’t apologize for his behavior. I did, however, feel that the incident was blown way out of proportion. I don’t think the man is a thug because he did some trash talking. Tons of sports figures have done far worse things than he and they escaped that type of vicious backlash.

  202. Well, I posted a reply to Elaine, but it has disappeared into WordMess and with the new format, I cannot retrieve it. I don’t like the inability to access the spam filter.

  203. Elaine:

    You’ve got a legitimate point of view but some people instinctively react to every derogatory comment spoken by a non-African American about an African-American as intending a racial slur. No one can divine intent for sure and it makes no sense to say that because some people called this player a “thug” they intended some racial subtext. Like many have said here Incognito is a thug as he’s anything but African-American, his group-thinking teammates notwithstanding.

  204. ” . . . some people instinctively react to every derogatory comment spoken by a non-African American about an African-American as intending a racial slur.”

    And some non-African Americans instinctively react to every comment spoken by a African American with a racial slur, like my brother.

    I pretty sure where the greater harm lies.

  205. Sports franchises should continue to set regulations on the actions of their players. The players are a representation of their brand and if suddenly there were an influx of disregarded disorderly conduct sponsorship would decrease for the franchise as a whole. This should apply to all teams and all players.

  206. Nic,

    Think about some of the things that certain NFL players have done that should be reasons for them not to be drafted or to retain their jobs.

    Excerpt from what WFAA Texas sports anchor Dale Hansen said on Monday:

    “You beat a woman and drag her down a flight of stairs, pulling her hair out by the roots? You’re the fourth guy taken in the NFL draft. You kill people while driving drunk? That guy’s welcome. Players caught in hotel rooms with illegal drugs and prostitutes? We know they’re welcome. Players accused of rape and pay the woman to go away? You lie to police, trying to cover up a murder? We’re comfortable with that.”

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