Richard Sherman Is a Victim of An Overly Appropriate Society



In the heat of victory and after intense, brutally fought game Richard Sherman indicated that he said to Michael Crabtree “good game” patted him, and then Crabtree pushed his hand into Sherman’s facemask– and Sherman lost it.

He was clearly enraged when Erin Andrews interviewed him as he spewed a combination of venom and bravado, and the internet and media erupted.

There is no doubt that this was not Sherman’s finest moment, however Sherman hurt no one but himself and his teammates, yet he is being hung out to dry by what has clearly become an overly appropriate hypocritical society.

In a day and age where there are cameras everywhere very little can and does go unnoticed, athletes and public figures are under tremendous pressure and scrutiny.  And with this intense media coverage they have garnered more influence with the public and young children. But not only are athletes and public figures under pressure– so are the rest of us.

Once athletic heroes, athletes are now capable of influencing behaviors and attitudes on a level that may have not been foreseen. This transformation has come about over a period of time aided by the advent of 24/7 television coverage and almost unlimited access to all that goes on in sports and the world.

Athletes like many of us have taken to twitter to tweet what they ate for breakfast and promote personal agendas. It has also birthed influential reality stars and those that seek to become them. In fact armed with a smart phone anyone can have their moment of fame in a nano second.

As high tech gadgets serve as personal monitors and perhaps help set boundaries for many, one would think that with all the surveillance that is going on, that people would be more careful of what they say and do. That does not on the surface appear to be the case as many show off terrible acts.

So much is posted and viewed that it makes it difficult at times to discern what is truly horrible and what is not. We sit and watch all of this having become hyper-critical, intensely judgmental and overly appropriate to the point of massive hypocrisy.

We do not exactly treat each other well at times and many have outbursts but it is alright for us to have ours, but not Sherman to have his.

Times have certainly changed, back in the day Sherman’s behaviors would have been considered mild on the street and none would have made much about it. But then again it was not being you-tubed, televised to millions, virally streamed on the internet, analyzed by millions– and so on.

People make mistakes– if in fact you think Sherman made one. His major fault was that he was being honest. We are critical of athletes when they give us canned answers and then jump all over them when they are forthright. We cannot have it both ways-or can we?

Sherman thinks he is the best, who cares?  I speak to hundreds of people who think they are better than their peers. He does not like Crabtree who cares? I speak to people who do not like the people they work with and compete against all the time. It is part of who and what we are, and Sherman was guilty of that.

Granted Sherman did not pick the best moment to have his outburst. If anyone should be irked by him his outburst it should be he teammates and coaches.

He took the spotlight off of what was a well-earned victory by his team, their joyous celebration, and a more in-depth analysis of the game which was a great one.

Now his coaches and the entire team are answering questions about his behaviors. Any distraction that affects their preparation for the Super Bowl is not a good one.

The reactions to Sherman’s behaviors have run the gamut—as is to be expected, because it was a subjective moment. And we are who we are.

Sherman’s behaviors, as well as his subsequent responses to his outburst are teachable moments for children and their families. It offers an opportunity for families to have frank discussions about how people behave.

For those who have not learned to discriminate between appropriate and inappropriate behaviors they need to. We are never going to be a utopian society or perfect beings. And who would want to be?

If that be the case then how else are children and others to learn the values we want to instill in them if they do not have exemplars of what we think appropriate or not?

In this case Sherman’s behaviors have provided us all with an opportunity to discuss what each of us thinks is appropriate or not, and the answers we are getting seems to indicate we are far from one mind on that.