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Richard Sherman and 'Class'

by Photo of Ross Bernhardt

In the aftermath of the Seahawks win, the conversation has shifted negatively to their star corner.

Richard Sherman and 'Class'

In this article…

The Seattle Seahawks are going to the Super Bowl, but all anyone wants or seems to be talking about is how "classless" Richard Sherman is. After Sherman won the game for the Seahawks by causing the interception in the end zone on San Francisco's final drive, he got into a little skirmish with 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree. Then when speaking with reporter Erin Andrews once the final whistle blew, Sherman had some things he wanted to say about Crabtree, and he said then quite emphatically.

After that interview, the mugging of Richard Sherman's character began on every medium imaginable (especially Twitter and the YouTube comments). Just check out a few of the awful examples that were compiled by my friend Chris Wise over on his Instagram. The level of vitriol over someone openly and loudly speaking his mind after something as trivial as a football game is pretty insane (and warning in advance, there's some pretty graphic language displayed here):

Brian Floyd already wrote a great column about this over at SB Nation, but the sentiment definitely bears repeating: just because someone is a dick doesn't justify abhorrent responses like this. Sure, Richard Sherman can be a dick sometimes. After the game-deciding play, Sherman went over to Crabtree at the worst possible time and clearly provoked him. It was a dick move.

Does that make him an "ignorant ape" or a "thug?" No, it makes him capable of being a dick, just like pretty much every person on the planet. None of us are immune to this. What about his postgame comments to Erin Andrews, shouted menacingly? Those are raw emotions coming from a guy who made a play to send his team to the Super Bowl, especially after Crabtree apparently made some comments directed at him over the offseason Colin Kaepernick threw at Sherman, and Sherman forced the pick. He's got every right to brag about what is probably the greatest play of his young career.

The phrase "You can talk the talk, but can you walk the walk?" really comes to mind here. Sherman clearly can do both. He busts his tail day in and day out to prepare himself, and it shows in the results. Sherman is probably the best corner in the league, and he's damn proud of it. He backs up his talk (and is also far more well-rounded than people give him credit for). But people still are quick to judge him based on 20 seconds of a brief, excited postgame interview. Sherman himself just penned a column over at MMQB. The comments have already turned into a circus of people trashing him. It's funny how people are calling Sherman classless and a thug but completely ignoring what Broncos receiver Wes Welker did to Aqib Talib. That looked like a deliberate attempt to take out another player, and a few people even said as much, but compared to a black man yelling after a game, I guess that pales in comparison.

I like to think we've come a long way as a society, but moments like this always remind me that we have a ways to go. When all is said and done, though, Sherman and the Seahawks are headed to the Super Bowl, and he said it best with a Game of Thrones quote of all things: "A lion doesn't concern himself with the opinions of sheep." Sherman is rising above it all, and he'll do it all the way to MetLife Stadium.

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Comments (1)
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