Considering Richard Sherman

Let’s take a break from politics for a minute and talk about a subject in which I am not nearly as fluent: sports.

Anyone who knows me will know that remaining impartial during major sporting events is not something I would usual find very difficult. However, I am currently living with some die-hard Seattle Seahawks fans. Since the Super Bowl produced very little to talk about, I want to back up a few weeks to the Richard Sherman interview with Erin Andrews.

Okay, I watched that game and interview live (I know, crazy right?).  We rewound it to try and understand what he said. We laughed. And then we ate dessert. Possibly because we are Seahawks and Richard Sherman fans, did we not realize until later the impact that interview would have.

Once again, society broke into two camps. In one camp, Sherman was a thug, psycho, and all around horrible person. The 12th man (and others) quickly pointed out that he was a Stanford grad, good player, and one of the most likable guys in the NFL.

So what’s between a thug and a saint? A human.

In that moment, he did sound like a crazy person. He had just beat the 49ers and Crabtree for a spot in the Super Bowl so humility would have been much better. Obviously.

On the other hand, he had just beat the 49ers and Crabtree for a spot in the Super Bowl. He was overly excited and reacted not unlike Kristen Bell meeting a sloth. Irrationally.

This whole incident speaks more media’s ability to define a person’s entire existence by a 20 second clip. The rant didn’t make him a bad person, and all the evidence people brought to his defense doesn’t necessarily make him a wonderful person. He’s just a person.

In an article Sherman wrote to try and explain what happened, he stated, “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.”

So the next time an athlete reacts with passion, or a politician says something stupid, or Miley Cyrus performs I am going to try to remember they are human, and we all do stupid things sometimes. My feeling is that I will have an opportunity to test this new resolve and write about it very soon, considering something like similar happens nearly every week.

What did you think of Sherman’s interview?


One thought on “Considering Richard Sherman

  1. I think it may be a better window into who he is more than the PR piece about him being the most likable guy in the NFL. That piece, while definitely highlighting some great work, was propaganda. This interview was unscripted, heat of the moment, no time to spin it Sherman. Being in the Marketing and PR industry, my first reaction was, “Where is this guy’s handler?!” That handler definitely appeared sometime between this interview and the one 10 minutes later with him holding the trophy. That guy was the Standford grad.

    I think your point is valid, though: both guys are Richard Sherman. Personally, I think that maybe he knows he’s somewhat of a hothead. (I don’t think you come out of Compton like he did being subtle and reserved.) And I think he’s trying awfully hard to make himself more likable, because that’s who he truly wants to be. And don’t we all have parts of us that we want to change? Don’t we all want to strengthen the better parts of ourselves? What you said above is perfect: “So what’s between a thug and a saint? A human.”

    I think there’s a little bit of thug and a little bit of saint in us all.

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