Richard Sherman surprised some NFL fans in his post-game interview with Erin Andrews after batting down a last-minute pass in the end zone to deny the San Francisco 49ners a game-winner and sending his team, the Seattle Seahawks, to the Super Bowl. (I thought it was basically funny, and chalked it up to him being in trash-talk war with his opponent and helping deliver his team to the Super Bowl.
Today he gave a press conference to tell his side of the controversy that's gone viral, making a good point about the [use of the word "thug" in modern parlance]. As quoted in Business Insider:
"The only reason it bothers me is that it seems like it’s the accepted way of calling people the n-word nowadays. … What’s the definition of a thug, really? Can a guy on the football field, just talking to people — maybe I’m talking loudly, or doing something I’m not supposed to be. But there was a hockey game where they didn’t even play hockey, they just threw the puck aside and started fighting. I saw that and I thought, 'Oh man, I’m a thug?' So I’m really disappointed in being called a thug."
Sherman's personal story has been in the news this week -- he was a good student as a youngster who overcame his Compton background to play football and get a degree form Stanford -- and he makes a point that folks who slide a little too easily into calling him a "thug" may be doing it out of a habit that they need to break. Food for thought.