Racial double standard: African-American Richard Sherman's boasting doesn't make him a thug

Super Bowl / Headline Surfer®

 
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Photo collage shows images of Richard Sherman, defensive back for the Seattle Seahawks who has had lots of media exposure between his post-game rant in the NFC championship win over the San Francisco 49ers and today's Super Bowl contest with Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.
 
Richard Sherman collage / Headline Surfer®Dr. RL Durham / Headline Surfer®By Dr. L. DURHAM
Guest Blogger
Exclusively for
Headline Surfer®
 

DAYTONA BEACH -- Professional sports fans today, at least in the wake of the recent comments made by Seattle Seahawks defensive back Richard Sherman, seem to be cut from a very different mold from fans back in the 1960s and '70s.

This new era of these sports fanatics have in my opinion never been more unrealistic. We ask for our athletes to be extremely aggressive as they perform on the football field week after week to entertain us and give us our monies worth as we watch their performance.

But at the same time as we expect this aggressive behavior from them, we also want them to be humble; play just for the love of the sport and avoid boasting about how good they are during the post-game interviews.

We want real honest interviews from them, but not too honest. Not too cocky. Our expectation for them is to be good role models for our children to look up to.

With this being said, when Richard Sherman gave an honest reaction to his interviewer about what happened as he appeared to attempting to speak with San Francisco 49er receiver Michael Crabtree, some incredulous fans felt that his emotionally-charged reaction was completely over the top.

With this being said, when Richard Sherman gave an honest reaction to his interviewer about what happened as he appeared to attempting to speak with San Francisco 49er receiver Michael Crabtree, some incredulous fans felt that his emotionally-charged reaction was completely over the top.

In my opinion, Richard Sherman is one of the best players on defensive at his position in the game today. In the NFC championship game, he made one of the best defensive plays of the season and probably the decade. He was excited.

All of the slights saying that he wouldn't make it, all of the doubts that a 5th-round pick who changed positions could ever become one of the game's best, he instantly proved wrong in front of the biggest audience of his career.

So Sherman did what probably every young athlete dreams of doing in his post-game interview. He went off in the interview with Erin Andrews. Some of these new breed of sports fans were appalled. There were the loaded code words that he was "uneducated" and "thug." There was also the now expectant and intense racism.

So Sherman did what probably every young athlete dreams of doing in his post-game interview. He went off in the interview with Erin Andrews. Some of these new breed of sports fans were appalled. There were the loaded code words that he was "uneducated" and "thug." There was also the now expectant and intense racism.

Yes, the interview was loud, it was in the moment of adrenaline flowing, but should not have been categorized as villainous, by people who don't know Richard Sherman personally.

Nothing in his background suggests him as a villain, or thuggish. Sherman is a Stanford-educated player. He's one of the most eloquent players in the game and he's not the best because of some unbelievable physical gifts. It's because he studies just as much film as players like Peyton Manning.

Trash talking in sports is not some new phenomenon. Larry Bird was one of the best trash-talkers ever, having famously asked his fellow three-point contest participants in 1986, which one of them something to the effect of who was coming in second  

In boxing, the brashness of Muhammed Ali is legendary. On numerous occasions after a fight he would boast of who pretty he was, how he could never be beat, how his opponents never laid a hand on him, and of course that he in fact was the greatest!

The game of football is interesting enough on its own without the manufactured good versus evil narrative. Today, we'll get to see many of the best players in football. Just because one of those players isn't afraid to say he's the best, doesn't make him a villain.

The game of football is interesting enough on its own without the manufactured good versus evil narrative. Today, we'll get to see many of the best players in football. Just because one of those players isn't afraid to say he's the best, doesn't make him a villain.

About the guest blogger: 

Dr. RL Durham / Headline Surfer®The Rev. Dr. L. Ronald Durham is the senior pastor of the Greater Friendship Baptist Church of Daytona Beach, 539 George W. Engram Blvd., Daytona Beach, Fla. He also occasionaly writes a guest blog for Headline Surfer®.

 

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Short Bio

Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com for a decade now. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed dozens of journalism-industry awards in print anddigital platforms. Frederick is enrolled at Full Sail University in Winter Garden, FL, where he's three-fourths through the online Master of Arts program in New Media Journalism. His graduation is in August.