The faux media firestorm that is surrounding Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman’s post-game interview with Erin Andrews of ESPN flamed up to a towering inferno rather quickly following his team’s defeat of the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game last Sunday. It made for great television and fueled the content of sports talk television and radio shows for the past four days. A natural part of a news cycle is that stories do eventually die, but it is also apparent that some media folks would do anything to keep the fire burning. At today's Super Bowl press conference featuring Wilson and Sherman, Richard masterfully fielded questions regarding his "passion," with lines like, "This shows how far we've really come."
He eloquently spoke, smiling, sharing the love of supportive teammates, and his Super Bowl components. But the most succinct response of the day came when a certain dreaded four-letter word was brought up – thug.
"What's the definition of a thug really? Maybe I'm talking like I'm not supposed to,” said Sherman. “There's a hockey game where they didn't even play hockey. They just threw down the hockey sticks. And I'm a thug? I'm really disappointed in being called thug….. I know some thugs. And they know I'm the furthest thing from a thug. I've fought that all my life. Just coming from what I'm coming from. You hear Compton and Watts and you hear 'He's a thugs,' and then you hear Stanford and people are like, 'Oh, that's an oxymoron’. And to hear that, thug, it doesn't make sense. It hurts a lot."
He also added what he wants children to know, "Your circumstances don't dictate your future…"
To many African American media members, Richard Sherman’s response was a breath of fresh honesty, well-spoken, upbeat, and positive. But some will likely find fault. You can’t please them all. As long as Sherman remains true to himself and keeps smiling he will go a long way pass the Super Bowl. And hopefully, his charisma and intelligence will allow for a smooth transition into other ventures as well.