Richard Sherman, Football v. Hockey, and Use of the Word “Thug”

I have been debating writing about the whole Richard Sherman kerfluffle, mainly because 1)I have never liked post-game interviews before the players have had a chance to come down from the game itself (these interviews are inane to me); and 2)I didn’t have a problem with how Richard Sherman acted.

So, since I’m trying to process the reaction to what happened on Sunday, I’m going to ask questions that I think this situation raises.

1. If the person who interviewed Richard Sherman had been male (of any race) or a black female, would this have been a kerfluffle at all? In other words, how much of this situation is really just an unconscious playing into the anxiety of seeing a “big, black man” being passionate anywhere near a white woman?

2. How much is class bias playing into this? If this had happened after a hockey game, would the reaction have been the same?

3. Why is Richard Sherman being called a “thug”? What action did he take that was thuggish? Or does his being a young, black male automatically make him a thug?

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4 thoughts on “Richard Sherman, Football v. Hockey, and Use of the Word “Thug”

  1. Thornton, who was ejected and has an upcoming in-person hearing with NHL Senior Vice President of Player Safety Brendan Shanahan, appeared to be genuinely remorseful after the game (watch the video above, care of WEEI’s Mike Petraglia ).

    • Thornton actually did something; Richard Sherman did not. All Richard Sherman did was be loud in a microphone. Nobody was hurt, nor was anybody harmed. Yet Richard Sherman was called a “thug”, and Thornton was not.

  2. Right on cue, front page on NY Times:http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/01/26/sports/football/seahawks-richard-sherman-is-much-more-than-just-talk.html?hp&_r=0&referrer=Also citing his high school GPA from a crappy high school is meaningless, have we forgotten our friend, Kashawn? You know the valedictorian from a S . Central High School who couldn’t hack it at UCLA.http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-c1-cal-freshmen-20130816-dto,0,4673807.htmlstory#axzz2rUCAUly2This is not to say I think Sherman is a thug or even that I found his interview objectionable but folks are getting a little carried away with citing his intelligence as evidence of him not being a thug. Jonathan Martin is smart this guy not so much.

    • If you re-read what I wrote, I didn’t mention his education at all. While I do think it’s a factor, I think that factor is minor. I think it’s much more important to look at the issue of class and how the word “thug” is being thrown around.

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