Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Long Live Richard Sherman

Cocky bastard or Community activist? Accused thug or Stanford educated Masters scholar? Classless shit talker or confident shut down corner? Don't let perception convince you that Richard Sherman is something that he is not. I started this blog entry right after he set social media on fire by going off in an off-field interview right after he made a great play that sealed a trip to the Super Bowl for his team. Since you can't badmouth his game after such a play, his detractors resorted to calling him a thug or racially derogatory terms. For those who don't know, cornerback is a position that attracts cocky characters. As diva-like as receivers can become, corners have to feel that they can react and neutralize anything the receiver can do. In Sherman's case, not only does he shut them down, he's also proficient at winning the mental battle with the opponent by getting in their head and ultimately under their skin. This reminds me of the greatest cover corner - and one of my favorite players - of all time: Deion "Primetime" Sanders. Sherman is the Deion Sanders remix but with a brash "thug-like" appearance but a prestigious academic background. Deion was hated early in his career for being too cocky, talking too much, and being too many theatrics to a sport that didn't value them. Does Sherman talk too much? Anyone could easily say 'yes' to that question. But better question: do you want him on your team, or on the opposing team working his way into your star receiver's head? I'll take him on my squad any day. I get how middle America feels about outwardly cocky young Black men; so much of the reaction doesn't surprise me. But as a young black man, I can look past him having dredlocks and being an animated shit talker. He's a beloved teammate, he's very intelligent (3.7 GPA and a Master's degree from Stanford), and he's already at the top of his position in the NFL at just 25 years old. Not to mention, he goes back to Compton to work with kids to help them make it out and beat the odds the way he did. So to call him a thug is to dismiss all he had to overcome to make it, and for that reason it's disrespectful; especially coming from cashiers in middle America who didn't face or overcome odds the way a kid in Compton did. But love him or hate him, you're talking about him. Love him or hate him, in the end, all thug accusations fall by the wayside as there's no logical proof. Love him or hate him, his meager $500K salary (pennies by NFL standards, especially when the 2nd best corner is making $14 million this year) is now being tremendously boosted by endorsements borne of his newfound attention. And now he's got a Super Bowl ring too. Long live Richard Sherman...

No comments:

Post a Comment