By John Rohlf – Staff Writer
Richard Sherman made the play of the game. After not getting tested essentially all game, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick decided to test Seattle’s All-Pro corner.
Sherman batted the ball away from Michael Crabtree and into the arms of Malcolm Smith, securing a trip to the Super Bowl for the Seahawks. However, it’s what Sherman did after the game that had people talking.
After making the game-clinching play, Sherman went up to Crabtree to shake his hand. Then, after the game in his postgame interview, he called Crabtree mediocre and a sorry receiver. After seeing the display from Sherman, football fans voiced their opinions on Twitter. He was called a thug and scum, among other things.
These fans did not like the way he conducted himself, which is understandable.
I will be the first to admit I am not a Sherman fan on the field. He is one of the most arrogant players in the NFL. He talks trash all the time. This is part of the game, but Sherman takes it to a whole new level.
Still, these comments about Sherman were uncalled for and just wrong. Sherman can rub people the wrong way, but this does not make him a thug or scum.
I know once I was made aware of his past, it changed the way I looked at Sherman.
He graduated second in his high school class. He enrolled at Stanford and played for Jim Harbaugh, who is now the coach of the team his Seahawks just beat. He graduated with a communications degree from Stanford, with a 3.9 GPA. He also is working with Blanket Coverage, which gives school supplies to inner-city schools.
If people had no knowledge of who Richard Sherman was on the football field, they would probably say how great of a person he is. Parents would say how they would want their kids to be just like him.
Why do we, as sports fans, decide the quality of a human being by how we see them playing their sport? We watch the game, observe how the players are acting, and decide whether we like them or not in the span of a few hours. We are all guilty of this. How would you feel if someone who did not even know you judged you from afar?
It’s time to stop judging these athletes by how they behave in the heat of battle. Without having played in the NFL, a person cannot say how they would act in front of the camera. So, the next time you decide you do not like a certain athlete, do some research about them first. As Richard Sherman shows, it is okay to not like the player, but like the person.