Pro athletes: Think before you speak

There are a lot of casual football fans who will be rooting for the Denver Broncos during Sunday’s Super Bowl XLVIII.
Jan 31, 2014

It’s not because one of the NFL’s biggest stars, quarterback Peyton Manning, plays for the Broncos. No, it’s because one of the Seahawks’ biggest stars, defensive back Richard Sherman, convinced them not to root for his team.

It’s been nearly two weeks since Sherman made the play of the game, tipping away a pass in the end zone that was eventually intercepted by a teammate, helping the Seahawks edge their bitter rivals, the San Francisco 49ers, in the NFC Championship game.

Moments after his game-saving play, Sherman spoke with Fox sideline reporter Erin Andrews and proceeded to go on a 40-second shouting rant, first proclaiming himself the best corner in the league before blasting the 49ers for throwing the ball his way and belittling 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree.

And maybe it wasn’t so much what he said as how he said it — screaming it in a fit somewhere between passion and rage.

As always, there’s more to the story. But does it matter?

Sherman, in his second year in the NFL, made himself look like a spoiled brat and a thug at the same time. What ever happened to winning with class?

Sherman may very well be a nice guy. He’s certainly an educated man, having attended prestigious Stanford University before venturing on to the NFL.

But that doesn’t matter. For most of the world, this was our first taste of Richard Sherman, and he left a bad taste in our mouths.

Everyone wants professional athletes to be role models for young children. We understand that not every pro athlete is a stand-up guy, worthy of our admiration.

Still, it would be nice if these athletes would at the very least remember their audience.

Little kids around the country saw Sherman’s outburst. What message are we sending? That if you’re good at football, basketball or some other sport, that it excuses you from using some common sense? That star athletes don’t have to abide by the same rules that others do?

There’s a popular saying which holds especially true in this situation: You only get one chance to make a first impression.

This was Sherman’s chance and he blew it. We’d urge others not to be so careless.

Go Broncos.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to news@grandhaventribune.com or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.

Comments

ReadingNews

I watched the game and saw the live tirade. I agree with this story 100%. I also hope the broadcast reporters learned from this story as well. Erin Andrews certainly watched this develop. Why did she hold up the microphone for 40 seconds? She should have walked away from this fool. I would think any reporter has veto power when an interview is spiraling way out of control no matter the content of the story. Go Broncos, bet they give better game interviews.

HueJastle

The whole problem is that people elevate sports, athletes, musicians and other entertainers to this odd, superficial position of power in society instead of just realizing that it's just entertainment. It's a TV show. The best part about it is that you can turn it off if you don't like it.

Former Grandhavenite

Despite the claims made in any official statement from the league, the NFL benefits from these type of antics. Anything that adds to the storyline surrounding the game or sets up a heroes vs villains narrative is going to attract some additional eyeballs on Sunday night. Some people are going to love him for "telling it like it is" or "having the right to celebrate because this is a game of men and it ain't Dancing With the Stars!", or simply because he's on the team they're pulling for. Some are going to hate him for being a thug, setting a bad example for kids, etc. Whether you love the guy or hate him, those are both pretty compelling reasons to watch the game.

tetrahydra
Former Grandhavenite

Lol at, "Every time you speak to me, address me as all pro-staffer graduate... I am intelligent enough, and capable enough to understand that you are an ignorant, pompous, egotistical, cretin, and that's really what it comes down to. And I'm going to crush you, on here, in front of everybody"

It's like watching the "bad guy" talk smack backstage during the lead-in to a World Wrestling Federation match. Skip Bayless better make sure there aren't any metal folding chairs within Sherman's reach. This is probably the funniest pro-athlete meltdown since Dennis Rodman's "I don't give a rat's a*s what you think!" rant on CNN in defense of his buddy Kim Jong Un.

Mystic Michael

Heavens to Betsy, Tribune Editorial Board! The Scary Black Man With The Dreadlocks just yelled his head off for a few moments in the end zone (after making the game-saving play that sent his team to the Super Bowl). He wasn't polite. He didn't say "please" and "thank you". He didn't ask permission first.

Tsk, tsk. We just can't have that. Mercy me! What would the neighbors think?

Lanivan

It's those dreadlocks, man - spoookkyyy.

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