I just wanted to take a step back and give my take on the whole debate. First I would like to clarify that I am black and I also played DI ball (not for a school as prominent as Stanford). With that said, what annoyed me most about the Richard Sherman debate is that it quickly became about race. And no I don't mean the bottom feeder twitter post brought about by the class of ignorance that the internet has exposed as still existing in this country, what I mean is the apologetic reporters that quickly determined any criticism that was brought on the Richard Sherman due to his conduct was brought from a place of racial ignorants.
It kind of reminded me of the movie "Remember the Titans." When coach Yoast tries to help Petey and tells coach Boone that some players don't respond well to his type of coaching. Coach Boone responds by asking Yoast what players is he referring to and then points out that he doesn't help out the white players the same way. He continues to point out that he treats everyone fairly and that he is not doing any favors for the black players by coddling them and in fact he is "Crippling" them.
When I read the news article labeled "What Richard Sherman Taught us About America" my blood pressure raised. Its the exact kind of response that I think hinders racial discussion in America. To be sure, I am not talking about the ignorant trolls that live their scum filled lives on twitter. But to say things like "we're still a country that isn't ready for lower-class individuals to succeed" is not only untrue but completely opposite of the type of people that make up the majority of this country. America loves a true underdog story... Why? Because somebody rising to the top from an underclass background is what validates are background and beliefs in the free-market philosophy that served as its foundation. People rising from the bottom of the social ladder, to the top is the type of evidence that separates us from other political principles, and has been since the revolutionary war.
Just to provide a very small sample shot. Richard Sherman is not the only Star Athlete to come from the streets of Compton. Beloved sports Hall of Fame players such as James Lofton and Eddie Murray all grew up in Compton. People Idolize sports figures such as Serena Williams, Venus WIlliams, Tayshaun Prince, and BJ Raji; all athletes with Compton backgrounds. Furthermore, as 49er fans, its why we love the stories of Patrick Willis, Navarro Bowman, and Colin Kaepernick. They are players that show how hard work and dedication can allow you to achieve overcoming adverse beginnings. But these people use their humble beginnings as teaching points to inspire other youth that are in there former position when the lights and cameras are in their face.
To be blunt, I think what Richard Sherman did was wrong. I think what disappoints most people is he took a great opportunity to show class, sportsmanship, and the principles of being a team player, and turned it into a stage to belittle others and promote himself. At the end of the interview you would have only thought that there were 10 dummies on that defense and richard sherman single handedly won that game. The problem is, from youth to college, the tenants of hard work, teamwork and sportsman ship serve as the foundation to the development of young men and women as they prepare for life as an adult.
Were these apologetics the same for Johnny Manziel when, as a 20 year old college kid, being blasted for making show me the money signs when he threw touchdowns. What about all the unwarranted hatred that goes out to Jay Cutler even though he does incredible work for underprivileged youth in Chicago... does that ever get brought up? The truth is, from Jim McMahon to Bryce Harper, people do not like to tolerate actions that are seen as individualistic and showboating.
Now Richard Sherman has all the right to promote himself. It is his career and with star power comes bigger pay checks. Furthermore, He also does fantastic work off the field, is a model for hard work as a student and an athlete, and is overall a nice guy to any fan for any team. However, as spidey once said, with great power comes great responsibilities. With millions of people watching, including what I assume to be hundreds of thousands of individuals watching, Richard Sherman chose to promote his brand rather than inspire teaching foundations that the upcoming generations will need to succeed in the adult world. It was wrong and using the race card not only does not help the situation but could be detrimental.