Archived Story

Sherman’s outburst exposes hypocrisy in sports

Published 2:10pm Thursday, January 23, 2014

Last Sunday, millions of fans watched the NFL and cheered the players who are paid to be angry and callous.
Then, in a blink of an eye, a tipped ball and an intercepted pass became the tipping point for America to become offended by a player who, you guessed it, spewed anger and callousness.
Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman was vilified on national television for his postgame taunting remarks, but in my opinion, it cuts to the heart of hypocrisy in today’s sports.
You want your favorite players to make those incredible plays and play under pressure for 60 minutes, but as a fan, you can’t handle or understand that same depth of emotion that it takes to play the game at the level you expect the players to participate.
In other words, you want it both ways, and that will not work.
Yes, Sherman was a bit hyped when he screamed, “I’m the best corner in the game” at Fox Sports interviewer Erin Andrews immediately after the game ended.
He continued his outburst against San Francisco’s Michael Crabtree, making various comments regarding the receiver from whom Sherman tipped the pass away from as he ended any title hopes for San Francisco.
After the game, the social media blew up with quick and decisive negative comments against Sherman – who by the way, graduated from Stanford, so dumb or ignorant he’s not.
The next day, Sherman showed remorse in a text to ESPN’s Ed Werder, but the damage had been done. Now this highly educated kid – who is a pretty decent NFL player – has become the next sports villain.
Sherman is the latest example of everything that is wrong with the modern professional football player.
Yet, the truth may be, he is also the example of everything wrong with some of the modern professional football fans.
Here you have an athlete who is in a three-hour fight and throws the knockout punch of his professional career – which , by the way, sends his team to the title game – and the fans expect him to immediately start blowing kisses after the game.
Was he wrong for taunting Crabtree? Yes, there is no defense for his actions.
Sherman is just another example of the mindless recklessness required to play in the NFL, which will most likely taint his name for life.
Sherman is by no means a thug, but the NFL is no place for the meek and mild. It’s ancient Rome and every Sunday, the football field turns into a coliseum made up of gladiators.
America would love to see every player embrace victory with the class of a Peyton Manning.
In reality, most of these players do not win games with their arms or brains, but with their bodies and their fears.
They find strength from places we can only dream about, building on slights unknown, finding the courage in corners  both remote and dark.
Richard Sherman is just another one of those players.
He saved the game for the Seahawks with the boldness and reckless behavior America demands of its football players. His mistake was being honest about it.
Notes on a scorecard: When Pete Carroll decided to leave USC and head back to the NFL, I thought he was nuts for doing so.
I was also selfish, because I knew he was the best coach in college football.
Three short years later, he has the Seahawks one win away from becoming NFL champions.
What is so great about all of this is that Pete Carroll hasn’t changed his coaching style one bit. He was loved by the players at USC, and they love him in Seattle. Fight On Coach Carroll.
Until next time …
Meyers is a sports columnist for The Outlook. You may follow him on Twitter at @brucemeyers11.