In America, the average, every-day citizen is happy with the status quo. They don’t like change, and they certainly don’t like when educated football players scream at them on national television. So when Richard Sherman went on his infamous rant on Sunday night, football fans across the nation cringed.
Those cringes weren’t because they were insulted by what he said or how he acted. They were results of the fear that Sherman, a Stanford alum and intelligent football player, had struck in them.
Put simply, people these days hate when you go against the status quo. It’s especially disturbing when football players, typically seen as dumb, unsophisticated individuals, decide to take the proverbial hammer to everything we as a society are so used to.
Typically, during on-field post-game interviews, we hear the same generic lines.
“We played hard, but they played harder.”
“We did everything we could to win, but it just wasn’t enough”
“We put ourselves in position to win, and outplayed the other team.”
You’ve heard it all before, and I’m sure you’ll hear it many more times before your days are over. It’s what we’ve come to expect from on-field post-game interviews. That’s part of why Sherman’s explosion after the Seattle Seahawks punched their ticket to the Super Bowl was so mind blowing to the masses.
In reality, it was simply a pumped up player on an adrenaline high who couldn’t control his emotions after making one of the biggest plays of the 2014 NFL Playoffs. Instead of condemning him for showing you the side of athletes we rarely see, let’s wonder why Erin Andrews felt it necessary to shove a microphone in his face moments after such a pivotal play? Why not question her inability to keep the interview under control? That’s what she’s getting paid to do, isn’t it?
Or maybe concern ourselves with the fact that, when Sherman tried to display some sportsmanship and shake Michael Crabtree’s hand, the San Francisco 49ers wide receiver showed his true colors by giving him a palm to the face. Oh wait, that’s no big deal because that’s what we expect from big, bumbling football players.
Sherman goes against the status quo of what the masses expect from football players. They’ve always been known as meatheads who act before they think. So when this Stanford grad with intelligence and wit gets his time in the spotlight, the world stops turning and people freak out.
This is further evidenced by the fact that, as this whole scenario was playing out, people who don’t even care about sports got involved. I scanned my Facebook feed to find friends who probably couldn’t name five NFL players suddenly fuming over Sherman’s display. This wasn’t a human interest story and it wasn’t like he was cussing up a storm, so why would so many unknowledgeable people throw their opinions around about something they know nothing about? I wouldn’t comment on women’s fashion or fine wines…
My initial thought: they’re scared of something different.
The entire situation was blown way out of proportion, and it’s just sad. Something so harmless happens and suddenly half the world is ready to classify Sherman as a “jerk,” “thug,” etc. How about you take some time to learn something about Sherman before flinging feces from behind the safety of your computer screen.
Above all, get over it.