Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman can understand why he is disliked for being overconfident. It does not bother him to know his actions sometimes rub opposing players and fans the wrong way. He can even tolerate being called a villain.
One label Sherman has received since his recent tirade is difficult for him to accept.
“Richard Sherman is a thug.”
Sherman created a firestorm of criticism after his postgame tirade on Sunday. The cornerback lashed out at San Francisco’s Michael Crabtree during his television interview, yelling, insulting, and mocking the 49ers receiver. The way Sherman handled that situation has been critiqued by everyone from Patriots quarterback Tom Brady to people who do not follow football, but watched the interview on local news.
In Sherman’s view, calling him a 'thug' is a subtle way to communicate another racist label.
“The only reason it bothers me is because it seems like it’s the accepted way of calling somebody the n-word nowadays,” Sherman said. “It’s like everyone else said the n-word, and then they say thug and that’s fine. That’s where it kind of takes me back. It’s kind of disappointing because they know. What’s the definition of a thug? Really?”
Sherman previously expressed his disappointment with the high amount of racist feedback he was receiving after Sunday’s postgame interview.
As a result of the criticism Sherman, Hank Aaron, who previously received death threats as he was about to break Babe Ruth’s home run record, publicly supported the embattled NFL player on Twitter.
@HenryLouisAaron Thank you very much for your support it is greatly appreciated and very humbling
— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) January 21, 2014
In Sherman’s view, his actions may have been over the top, but he does not understand why some people view him as a thug.
“Maybe I’m talking loudly and doing something … talking like I’m not supposed to, but there was a hockey game when they didn’t even play hockey,” Sherman said. “They threw the puck aside and started fighting. I saw that and said, ‘Oh man, I’m the thug? What’s going on here?’ Geez. I’m really disappointed in being called a thug.”
Sherman is referring to a recent NHL game between Vancouver and Calgary. As soon as the puck was dropped, a brawl erupted between the players on ice. Canucks coach John Tortorella was suspended for 15 days without pay for an altercation in the hallway outside the Calgary’s dressing room during the first intermission, while Flames coach Bob Hartley was fined $25,000 for not controlling his players.
Some have called Sherman a villain, which is a label he does not agree with. However he does not view that tag as racist.
“I don’t think I’m a villain,” Sherman said. “I think people always say the old cliché, don’t judge a book by its cover, but they’re judging a book by its cover. They’re judging me off the football field, on the football field, during the game, right after the game, and they’re not judging me for who I am. If I had gotten arrested 10 times, or committed all these crimes, or gotten suspended for fighting off the field, and done all that, then I could accept being a villain. I’ve done nothing villainess."
In Sherman’s view, he has not done anything thuggish either.
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