Posts Tagged ‘Jim Racalto’

Hate him or Love him, we need Richard Sherman

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

by Jim Racalto

(Photo via CBS Sports)

(Photo via CBS Sports)

Disclaimer: This article expresses the views of the author. These views do no represent Sports-Kings or War Room Sports.

By now, everyone knows that Seahawks’ outspoken cornerback Richard Sherman made the play of the game in Sunday’s NFC Championship game. For those who don’t know, after he caught up to a Colin Kaepernick pass intended for Michael Crabtree and deflected it into the hands of a teammate for the game-sealing interception, Sherman went on to taunt Crabtree on the field and belittle him in an interview.

First, let me give my personal OPINION about over-the-top trash talk in football. I have never been a fan of it, no matter the player, the reason, or the situation. Unlike a sport like boxing, where self-promotion, hype, and trash-talk have traditionally been the norm, football is a team sport. There is obviously an expected amount of talk that will take place on the field between 22 grown men, but sometimes players can break that threshold. Richard Sherman is one of these players. I have no vendetta against him, nor am I a “hater.” I have held this stance on trash-talk for the longest time – it could have been any player acting in such a fashion, and I would have said the same thing: I am not a fan of it.

Now that I have cleared that up, let me tell you I don’t think my opinion is gospel. Plenty of people believe Sherman’s actions were fine, and they’re entitled to that. I don’t think Sherman needs to be berated or criticized outside of a football context either. I like him as a player, and if he toned it down a bit and didn’t make himself larger than the team at times, I’d be cool with it.  Some don’t like over the top talk, some are fine with it. There is no correct answer on a matter of opinion.

Some of you may be asking how can I defend Sherman if I don’t like how he acts sometimes? Simple! I understand the difference between being critical from a football standpoint and being critical from a human standpoint. Richard Sherman grew up in the harshest of cities (Compton, CA), graduated second in his class from a high school that posts less than impressive graduation rates, and then graduated from Stanford – one of America’s most prestigious universities. As a human being, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who is a more feel-good story than Sherman. He is a well-spoken, intelligent, and intellectual human being. You can’t judge the character of a man by his actions on a football field.

To make matters worse, there were racial slurs all over social media after Sherman’s interview. This amazed me. How ridiculous are people these days? It’s fine to have your opinion on Sherman, the football player. But to make personal attacks and actually think what he does or says in the heat of the moment between the sidelines is actually a reflection of his character as man is irresponsible. It is because of these personal attacks and outrageous character judgments that I felt the need to clear the air and defend a guy I criticized. Why am I allowed to do that? Because I KNOW THE DIFFERENCE between football and reality.

In closing, the NFL – and the world – needs guys like Richard Sherman. Although I don’t like overboard taunting or talking, Sherman is the best defensive back in the league. He has earned the right to say what he wants, and thus far he’s backed it up. Whether or not I like it is irrelevant in the grand scheme of things.

I think Sherman is an example of a guy who knows how far he’s come, is ultra-proud of what he’s accomplished, and is such a good football player that he’s not scared to let you know he’s the best. He will then dare you to prove him wrong.

Your opinion, my opinion – neither will change that. Sherman has since apologized for his post-game outburst. I wish he hadn’t.


Jim Racalto of Sports-Kings, for War Room Sports