Richard Sherman: Don’t Judge

After the Seattle Seahawks beat the San Francisco 49ers to advance to the Super Bowl, Seattle star cornerback, Richard Sherman, gave the speech of a lifetime. Seriously, watch reporter Erin Andrews face as Sherman begins his mini rant when asked about defending 49ers Wide Receiver Michael Crabtree on the final play.

Seeing this interview, it was easy for many to call Sherman words like “thug”, “douche” or much worse. Many did so on Twitter, the angriest website on the internet, where people hide behind their technology and bring down others. It is understandable as to why many were turned off by Sherman, as it is common for the majority of people to not like talkers and loud mouths. He is the player you love to hate, but any fan would love for him to be on their team.

The player

Sherman, a 6’3 cornerback, is in his third year in the league. It is in my opinion that Richard Sherman has surpassed Darrelle Revis as the best cornerback in the game(more on that later), and is a huge reason for the rise of the Seahawks defense in recent seasons. Born in the infamous city of Compton, California, Sherman excelled at academics and never let the gang life that was constantly around him affect him. Sherman was a two sport star at the Compton based Dominguez High School, playing track and field as well as football. During his senior year, Sherman helped lead Dominguez to a CIF Southern Section Division III championship. With his straight A’s and high academic standards to go along with an impressive sports resume, Sherman received a scholarship to Stanford, the only player from Dominguez to receive one from the University.

Sherman went to play for Jim Harbaugh, now the coach of the 49ers, at Stanford and started off playing as a wide receiver (which he played also while at Dominguez). Injuries to the team forced him to switch positions in 2009, and he never looked back. Sherman played the position well, and remained at corner all the way until he was drafted by the Seahawks in the 5th round, pick number 154. Looking back now, the Seahawks absolutely got one of the biggest steals in recent memory.

As of January 2014, Sherman is a 2013 Pro Bowler, 2x 1st team All Pro, NFC Champion and best corner in the league. He has 20 career picks and 4 forced fumbles.

NFL: St. Louis Rams at Seattle Seahawks

The Controversies

Sherman is not without his “controversies” since entering the NFL in 2011. However, before we continue, let us keep in mind that Sherman has never failed a drug test, killed someone, drove drunk etc. Sherman makes headlines for his mouth, and he sure loves to run it a lot. What he makes the news for is all harmless, even with you disagree with what he says.

Sherman became a household name in early 2012, after the Seahawks had defeated the New England Patriots. According to Sherman, he claims Brady told him and safety Earl Thomas to “find me after the game when we win”. Sherman found Brady alright, and tweeted this after the game.
sherman

Trolling one of the best quarterbacks ever? Epic.

Sherman also got into it with ESPN’s Skip Bayless in 2013, telling Skip “In my 24 years of life, I’m better at life than you”. The clip is a must watch. I think Bayless is an atrocious “reporter” and everything Sherman says about him is true, and I’m happy a player didn’t sit back while this ignorant television personality spewed his filth.

Seattle’s boisterious cornerback also pisses off a lot of players with his talk. The Redskins very own Trent Williams couldn’t keep his composure after the Seahawks beat the Redskins in the Wild Card round last year, hitting Sherman in the face when the two met in the middle of the field. Seeing Williams reaction as he walks down the tunnel, you can clearly tell Sherman got to him, and is one of the best trash talkers in the league, if that means anything.

Before going after Michael Crabtree in the rant he gave with Erin Andrews, Sherman has called out other players, such as Falcons wide receiver Roddy White and Buccaneers cornerback Darrelle Revis. Sherman called out White, saying he isn’t even a top 100 player in the NFL. He also went after Revis on Twitter, claiming he (Sherman) was the best corner in the league, and using his 2 years of stats to show how they were so close to Revis’ career stats. Revis responded by saying “I never seen a man before run his mouth so much like a girl,”.

While it is a bunch of stupid little incidents, Sherman clearly isn’t afraid of going up against anyone in the league, on the field or off it.

The Good

While Sherman may run his mouth and rub people the wrong way, he is not a “stupid thug” like many have called him after the NFC Championship game. Sherman is actually very smart, having gotten a more than perfect 4.2 GPA at Dominguez High and a 3.9 GPA while at Stanford, graduating with a degree in communications.

While he may seem like an unlikeable tough guy on the field, off the field Sherman is the opposite. His foundation, “Blanket Coverage, The Richard Sherman Family Foundation” helps kids in need obtain school supplies and clothes. He has raised easily over 100,000 dollars for his community and various charities. He also does work with “Students with a Goal”, touring schools around Compton, trying to make his message clear that hard work and staying in school will bring kids to much succcess.

Sherman is the anti-jock. He doesn’t go out to party or try to make the news by what he does off the field. He makes the news for his on field and football related actions, that’s it. If he ever does make news for stuff off of the field, he would want it to be about the good work he has done for many people. Even ffter his epic rant against Crabtree, Sherman quickly offered an apology.

My Take

I can see how Richard Sherman rubs people the wrong way. It is understandable, especially for 49ers fans, to despise Richard Sherman for how often he runs his mouth. People may also hate how he refers to himself as the best, but guess what, he is the best and his play speaks for itself. Darrelle Revis was cocky when he was the best cornerback in the game, but he was a greedy kind of cocky. Sherman is all about his team and locking down the other teams best wide receiver. But the hate should end right there. This is about a game, and to take to Twitter to call Sherman a “thug” or use a racial slur is pretty shameful. Does his trash talk really affect your life? Do sports really get to you that badly. People see a dreadlocked player from Compton and instantly label him, and that is a sad thing many in this world still do. I personally like Sherman, and many fans seem to as well. He is an outstanding cornerback and plays with his heart on his sleeve. Sherman attributes his dominant play by studying film. He claims to sit in his bed and watch film on his iPad for hours, and says to be a good player, you gotta have smarts, not only physical attributes to really get ahead in this league. I respect Sherman, he seems like a great guy off the field, and when his adrenaline takes over and he runs his mouth again, don’t go calling Sherman a thug. Like he said, “Don’t judge a person’s character for what he does between the lines,”.

Well said Sherman, well said.

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