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The NFL's New Bad Boy: Richard Sherman

WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – As great as the NFC title game between Seattle and San Francisco was, Richard Sherman’s mouth managed to steal headlines. The aftermath of his post-game tirade has brought about many varying reactions.
With less than a week until Superbowl XLVIII, Sherman still remains the most polarizing figure in the game. There are several angles fans, players, and media members have taken regarding Sherman’s rant. Some reactions were fair and deserving, however some were downright ridiculous. So, let’s make sense of Sherman, his comments, and future implications.
Firstly, Sherman proclaimed he is the best cornerback in the league. When you’re named to the All Pro’s first team and lead the league in interceptions, you have bragging rights. (Oh, and making the game winning play to send your team to the Super Bowl doesn’t hurt either). When victorious, you have a right to be proud of what you have accomplished, because it would be impossible for anyone to refute what is fact.
Monmouth University sophomore, Rob Panzera, gave his take on Sherman, saying, “I think that [he] made a play that won the game in the biggest rivalry in football. He deserves to brag and boast. I don’t think that singling out Crabtree was the right thing to do, but he can definitely back up what he says about him, being the best in the league.”
However there is a big difference between proclaiming victory and belittling a formidable opponent.

NFL's new 'bad-boy,' Richard Sherman. Image taken from: legalinsurrection.com.
NFL’s new ‘bad-boy,’ Richard Sherman. Image taken from: legalinsurrection.com.

Michael Crabtree is not Jerry Rice, but he is respected for his craft and has performed well in this league. So, maybe he said or did something to Sherman that he felt was disrespectful in the past. Even if that was the case, let your play do the talking and save the ranting for the locker room instead of national television. Win with class, lose with class.
Trash-talking is welcomed to an extent in this league. It is fun for fans and intensifies rivalries. However, you must draw a line that shows you still respect your opponent.
Monmouth University junior, Dylan Gilberti, thinks Sherman’s comments were highly unsportsmanlike, claiming, “Regardless of the emotions and passion that he has as a player, at the end of the day he is a professional and should act like one. You didn’t see Peyton Manning screaming into the mic saying how he is the best quarterback and Tom Brady is mediocre.”
San Francisco was 12-4 and played a closely contested game down to the last minute. They even beat Seattle once in the regular season. They deserve at least some respect for a valiant effort in the most difficult stadium to play in the league.
Next, comes an unfortunate angle taken by some ignorant and extremist people. There were those that associated the manner in which Sherman ranted as having to do with his race. The racist comments that were found on various social media platforms are downright ludicrous. (Those comments you can search for yourself, as this piece is trying to remain ‘PG’). What if a white player would have said the same things? What does that make him? Sherman was in the heat of the moment and lost his cool. It is unfortunate that a professional was unable to exhibit any humility or grace in victory. At the same time, it does not make him any less of a human being, nor does it have anything to do with his race.
He was actually very calm when interviewed later in the postgame. To associate Sherman’s tirade with the fact that he is black is not only irrelevant, but immoral (don’t act like you’ve never lost your cool before).
Sherman (satirically) as the wizard Gandalf from the Lord of the Rings. Image taken from: wac.450f.edgecastcdn.net/
Sherman (satirically) as the wizard Gandalf from the Lord of the Rings. Image taken from: wac.450f.edgecastcdn.net/

Monmouth sophomore, Matthew Cox, respects Sherman for his talents on the gridiron and in the community, “People persecute him for his antics but he can back them up with his talent and the great things he does for society.”
Sherman is known for being outspoken. One of the more mercurial figures in the game, he is a media delight. So, credit Fox for having the courage to interview Sherman right after the game. They knew his emotions were running high and his adrenaline was through the roof. This resulted in one of the most notable rants in recent memory (also credit Fox for taking the camera off Sherman before he said something profane). From a media standpoint, this was a great ratings booster.
Although Sherman’s comments were disrespectful towards his opponent, he refrained from using any foul language, and kept it ‘PG.’ It was just overly aggressive and uncalled for.
Now, what have we learned? Richard Sherman is an elite player who helped his team when they needed him most. He did not act the way he did because of his ethnicity. He simply let his emotions get the better of him. He deserves criticism for showing zero class and became a villain in the process.
Sherman also deserves praise for being able to back up any kind of trash talk. His actions that were locker room material made for a national sports controversy. He is going to have to live with a ‘bad-boy’ image. However, something tells me that with earning a trip to the Super Bowl, he could care less.
Let’s see what he has to say in another few days in New Jersey. Any comments? Type below.