The lessons of Richard Sherman

Last night, justice was finally served.

Richard Sherman lost the big game. And it was soul-crushing. Excellent.

My definition of “thug” when it comes to professional sports is fairly simple: Any time I have to explain to my daughter why she should never be like that professional athlete, nine times out of ten, that person is acting like a thug.

It was impressive to me that in a game where he didn’t really make a notable play, Sherman was still able to make an ass of himself. In this case, it was after Darrelle Revis’ man caught a touchdown pass. Sherman took to the camera to point out it was Revis who gave up a touchdown.

Many say that NFL stands for “No Fun League.” But I think those who say that have a skewed definition of fun.

The fun in sports is the competition. And, it is in winning, for sure. But the fun is in the winning. It’s not supposed to be in rubbing your opponents face in their loss. In my view, that’s not fun, its acting like a thug. It’s unnecessary and mean-spirited. It also emphasizes the losing team over the winning team, which is somewhat backwards.

Richard Sherman can’t win anything without rubbing someone’s face in it. Compare Sherman’s now-famous post-NFC Championship rant against Michael Crabtree to Malcolm Butler’s humble post-Super Bowl win interview. Person with no class vs person with class.

Seahawks fans will defend Sherman by saying he’s not a thug but the smartest and most educated man on the planet. Stanford honors graduate. When he’s done with football, why, he’ll be curing cancer and then building a spaceship so we can colonize other planets.

Yet, he’s had no education in manners, etiquette or sportsmanship. Win humbly. Barry Sanders, one of the greatest running backs to play the game would score, hand the ball to the ref, and head back to the bench. He didn’t need to tell people how great he was. He let his play do the talking.

Seahawks fans embrace him, and then excuse him, because he’s good. But Green Bay fans would not. The Packers organization works hard to draft and sign quality people, and they have little tolerance for these kinds of players. Even Jermichael Finley, the former Green Bay tight end, as great as he was, was routinely bashed by Packers fans for being a selfish loudmouth. Many wanted him gone just because he didn’t represent the organization well.

Perhaps it’s considered weak to rather lose with quality people than win with thugs. But that’s Green Bay’s fans and organization vs many other teams.

And in the end, they’re professional organizations that don’t know I exist. My job is to raise my daughter to be the best she can be while still being a considerate and quality person.

One of the keys will be to not only not mimic Richard Sherman’s behavior, but speak out against it.

This entry was posted in general thoughts and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply