BY: KWAME FISHER-JONES
Seattle Seahawks All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman is headed to the Super Bowl, and accompanying him on his journey are adjectives that can only be described as abhorrent.
The public outcry from those who have taken to Twitter in an effort to share their poorly constructed sentences and atrocious versions of the English language, to cease have become nauseating.
After winning an emotional NFC title game, Sherman called San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree "mediocre" and in the process appeared to scare the bejesus out of sideline reporter Erin Andrews. And for that he is a "thug", "a classless jerk", "a monkey", and just an overall mean guy.
The cornerback's actions caused an uproar among football fans, many of whom Sherman has never and will never meet. Yet some, and to some extent Sherman, have felt the need to acknowledge and respond to these people.
Which begs the question, why?
Let us be honest, what has been said publicly about the Seahawk has certainly been said privately about the Seahawk.
Perhaps Sherman believed because he played football, worked hard at his craft, paid his taxes, and was an asset to his community that he was no longer “from Virginia”.
Perhaps his accomplishments in life somehow absolved him of the same opinions that many who look like him endure on an hourly basis.
To simplify, those who can call a man they have never met a thug based on a contrived and spirited post game rant are not worth the time of a response. Just as those who call any person a thug or monkey are not worth the time away from picking your nose, yet alone the time spent responding.
Does anyone actually believe they are going to change the mind of social media?
That individual is always going to see thug, even with their eyes closed. Their perception will remain reality, regardless of the most eloquent of retorts.
So frankly no one should give a damn, most of all the Seattle cornerback.
The All-Pro's actions since the interview, more specifically his attempt at appeasement, have sharpened the knives that have been thrown his direction.
Does anyone who has color television honestly think Sherman, or any athlete, is a thug?
Furthermore, does anyone who is not married to their family member even use the word "monkey" to describe an African-American?
It may seem cliché', but Rich consider the source.
Would you stop to acknowledge the homeless man who is obviously a few nuggets short of an eight piece, if he was screaming epithets at you? Then why acknowledge the social media version of said "person"?
We as logically thinking individuals need to ignore these cries for attention and stop giving light to the darkest of minds. Yes there was a time where it paid to educate your attacker, but today is not that time.
The true tragedy in this fiasco is the logic and reasoning that many have uttered in an attempt to prove Sherman is not a thug. Citing his Stanford education and the cornerback's elite status, all in an attempt to prove the athlete is not what his attackers believe him to be. In doing this it gives further credence to the notion that only a college educated African-American man can escape the thug label.
In an attempt to establish the All-Pro as a stark contrast to what these people have believed him to be, all it has really done is belittle so many who have been called or treated as thug. A population voided of the same accomplishments as the Seahawk.
The Seahawk’s accomplishments, while sensational, are not what proves the cornerback is not worthy of the thug label.
Rather it is his standing in the community which he resides, or the fact that he is a productive member of society, and most of all his respect for the law.
A man's profession or status in society should not dictate whether he is or is not entitled to irrational attacks. The belief that his degree is what solidifies Sherman as the very antithesis of a thug is truly what’s alarming. Not the need by those who are steadfast in their ignorance to insult him.
This is what happens when you answer to foolishness and ignorance.
This is what happens when we look to Twitter to be anything more than a forum of silliness.
We all must understand that the truth needs no explanation. Often people attempt to belittle and insult because their misery has become their rest haven, and there is no other way that they know how to communicate.
Sherman has taken time away from what should be the most enjoyable time in his life to indulge in ridiculousness. This action has allowed his biggest critics to bask in the light the cornerback has worked so hard to shine in.
The Seattle Seahawks are headed to Super Bowl 48 because of the cornerback's outstanding play on the field and that alone is all he or anyone else needs to be concerned about.
Quite frankly, the opinion of "Cockney White", "Vic Daring", and "pfenning31" just to name a few should not shock or bother anyone. News flash Virginia there racists and idiots among us, and if you find a dark enough hole chances are they are there congregating.
Yes there was a time we as a society needed to ostracize these people, while publicly calling them out for their ignorance, but that time has passed. Today these people relish in being acknowledged. Today these people aspire for our attention, all in an attempt to pull those who walk a higher road down to their path of misery.
Everyone should be thankful that these individuals are willing to identify themselves, rather than hide. Therefore we know whom to disregard.
Most of all Sherman, and people in general, need to understand you cannot embrace the good without accepting the bad. Greatness does not cease at achievement. Great success comes with great applause and sometimes even greater jeers. Sadly those jeers do not subscribe to the “Burger King” philosophy, where one gets to have it their way.
People must end this desire to be loved by all, if we are not prepared to be despised by a few. Because people are going to call you a plethora of things, but ultimately it is what you answer to that substantiates who you are.