Sherman Controversy Combines Race, Condescension and Marketing
Well, he answered the question as to how he felt and that viewing public was aghast. People who have never played competitive sports, and especially a physical and emotionally draining one such as football, don't understand that the intensity necessary to compete successfully can't just be turned on and off. Sherman wasn't going to pull a Superman-Clark Kent bit and go from one personality to the other. He couldn't suddenly morph from the blustery and arrogant cornerback to the Stanford-educated, poised and polished man he is off the field.
What did they expect? So accustomed to the canned responses made for public consumption and to maintain an image, we’re expecting to hear the hypocritical thanking of Jesus Christ for helping win a violent game played on the Lord's day. Thanking a deity is socially acceptable provided it’s Jesus. If any player ever walked off the field and say “Praise be to Allah,” then the controversy would probably be worse than what happened with Andrews and Sherman.
Sherman was flying high, but he was far from out of control. He didn’t curse. He didn’t say anything overtly personal or offensive. All he did was talk about how great he is, reference a nickname (LOB – Legion of Boom) for his team’s defense, and gloat over stopping Crabtree.
This story blew up because of the confluence of events. The racial component of this can’t be ignored and its aftermath is dripping with condescension. In the ensuing days since it happened, we’ve received everything but Sherman’s middle-school transcripts to prove that he’s a person with a brain and not some thug out of Compton wearing colors to represent a gang he’s affiliated with and how he would be in jail if he didn’t find a way out with the NFL. Again and again, it’s mentioned how he comes from a “normal” family; that his father drove a garbage truck and his mother is a social worker; that he was an A student in high school, graduated from Stanford, does charity work and speaks at schools telling kids to stay on the straight and narrow.
Why that should matter is a mystery considering the fact that the entire episode stemmed from the heat of the moment and that Andrews either didn’t know what to say or do or that Fox didn’t trust her to know what to say or do. It all fit perfectly together to inconveniently cast a pall over the Seahawks winning their conference and created a viral incident that wasn’t an incident at all. It was something that happened and should have been a distraction rather than what the sports-viewing world is talking about days after the fact.