By: Martin Weiss

All season, Richard Sherman was the guy the NFL was scared to throw at.

He was targeted less than any cornerback all year and still lead the league in interceptions with eight. He’s been an All-Pro for two of the three years he’s been a professional. He’s a fiery guy, known for his aggressive play and penchant for trash talking.

The biggest story from Conference Championship weekend was Richard Sherman in his postgame interview. He was asked to go over the last play of the game, where he deflected a potential game winning touchdown pass.

“I’m the best corner in the game,” Sherman said. “When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree, that’s the result you’re going to get. Don’t you ever talk about me!”

When Erin Andrews asked who was talking about him, he responded: “Crabtree. Don’t you open your mouth to talk about the best, or I’m going to shut it for you real quick.”

Not surprisingly, some people have taken exception with what Sherman said, calling him a classless thug among other, more distasteful things. People say that Sherman didn’t make it about the team and focused all the attention on himself.

There are many reasons as to why people could be upset. First, his delivery was brash. He was yelling, but in a raucous stadium which had just began to let off fireworks as soon as he started speaking.

Second, he called Michael Crabtree “sorry.” Michael Crabtree, a noted trash talker himself, has 19 catches on the year for 284 yards. That’s not exactly an All-Pro season. In his defense, Crabtree was injured for a good portion of the year, but he’s the fourth option in their offensive attack.

Does that make Sherman a classless thug? He didn’t use profanity on live television. He didn’t shout his “hood” out. He didn’t give the middle finger. He wasn’t disrespectful to Andrews — or anyone else — unless you count Crabtree.

For those people who say he didn’t respect the competition, Sherman was asked about facing Peyton Manning in the Super Bowl and said his team was up for the challenge. Yet he still was slapped with stereotypical labels all through social media.

Richard Sherman grew up in the inner city in Compton, Calif., in a land of gangbanging, drug activity and danger. He made it out of the city to Stanford University, graduating undergrad and receiving a Masters in Communication while starring for the Cardinal on the football field.

His charitable organization, Blanket Coverage, provides school supplies and clothes for children unable to afford them. He has a clean criminal record in a league where convicted felons suit up each week.
But he’s a classless thug — not to mention the racial slurs — because he talks a little trash moments after making the play to secure a Super Bowl berth for his team, according to some on social media.

I like the trash talk, and the confidence that comes with it. Unshakeable confidence is necessary to be the best in any field, especially sports. I wonder what underlying reasons people have to be upset with Sherman and his antics.

If it was simply because they felt it was inappropriate, I wonder how they felt when Peyton Manning’s only concern after the Divisional round was how fast he could “get a Bud Light in his mouth.” Surely a role model such as Manning promoting alcohol use is inappropriate as well.

Every single time Sherman talks trash, he backs it up. It’s well documented through his short NFL career. Want Sherman to shut up? Beat him. Until then, keep talking Richard.


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