Topical Tuesday: Richard Sherman Controversy

How sad is it that the most topical thing in our country right now is the post-game rant of an NFL player.  In case you missed it, on Sunday night, the Seahawks and 49ers played one another with the winner advancing to the Super Bowl.  These two teams had already played one another twice during the regular season and simply don’t like one another.  It was a well played, hard hitting game and at the end the 49ers had the ball with a chance to score and win.  However, quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s pass with 22 seconds left intended for his star wide receiver Michael Crabtree was deflected by the Seahawk’s star cornerback, Richard Sherman and ultimately intercepted by the Seahawks to seal their victory.

Immediately after the game, FOX reporter Erin Andrews interviewed Sherman and this happened…

The reaction was immediate as Twitter and Facebook blew up calling Sherman a thug, classless and many other things that simply can’t be repeated nor, should they ever be said. Now before going any further, let me be clear that I am not a Seahawks fan and quite frankly have never really cared for Sherman as a football player.  However, I think that Americans have gotten this one wrong.  Sherman, in the heat of the moment, spoke out with passion that he feels he’s the best and that the 49ers were wrong trying to target him on the biggest play of the game.  Many fans berated him for his rant as they then immediately went on a rant of their own telling the world how bad this person is.

Now to be clear, Sherman is a trash-talker, it’s a part of his game.  This interview I feel was just an extended part of it while the adrenaline was still running high.  Just a few minutes later watch how composed he is as the excitement of the moment has worn off…

From what I’ve read this is a very intelligent young man.  He graduated second in his high school class and then graduated on time from Stanford with a degree in communications.  I don’t necessarily agree with everything he does on the field both physically and verbally, but I do feel that the reaction most American’s have had to this just goes to show one of the problems we have as a country.  We react to every little thing like it’s the biggest thing.  We’re quick to make judgments in the moment instead of thinking through things.  Now I’m sure humans have always been like this but with the advent of social media, we instantly share stuff without really filtering it through a proper thought process.  Again the irony of this situation was that people were ranting about someone else’s rant.

For those that call yourselves followers of Jesus who engaged in this type of behavior, let me challenge you with a parting thought from scripture…

Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. -James 1:19-20

Take note of the “slow to speak” part.  In today’s culture we could include, “slow to tweet”, “slow to re-tweet”, “slow to post as a status up-date” or “slow to share on your wall”.  Think before you react!  When you don’t not only is it a bad reflection on you but on Jesus as well.  Even if you’re not a follower of Jesus, being quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry are still pretty good words to live by.

So there it is…my thoughts on the Richard Sherman controversy.  What do you think about all this?  His rant?  America’s rant?  My thoughts?

Oh and my prediction for the Super Bowl:   Bronco’s 27      Seahawks   17

One Response to “Topical Tuesday: Richard Sherman Controversy”
  1. Larry Evans says:

    You’re right on Pastor Gilbert… too many of us are not only getting informationally myopic bu we’re going spiritually blind. Well said perspective… thank you.

    For those who couldn’t understand the audio here’s the essence of what Sherman said to Erin Andrews when asked about the last play:

    SHERMAN: I’m the best corner in the game! When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree that’s the result you gonna get! Don’t you ever talk about me!

    ANDREWS: Who was talking about you?

    SHERMAN: Crabtree. Don’t you open your mouth about the best! I’m gonna shut it for you real quick!

    The root of the problem is Richard Sherman thought that everybody knew that he had something going on with Michael Crabtree of the 49ers, and nobody knows.

    I’m sure Obama, at the end of the day, thinks the whole country’s thinking about him every day. There’s some people so lost in their egos that they really do think that everybody is fascinated with what they’re doing and knows intimately everything going on in their life. And then, of course, Sherman thinks he was disrespected by being thrown on. That is cultural. Then there’s adrenaline in the heat of the moment and everything else.

    HOWEVER… as my mom used to say, “Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater”… as Pastor Gilbert said, this guy is bright as he can be… really smart, well-spoken and well educated. He’s worked hard to escape his childhood circumstances, economic and otherwise. He comes from a very solid family. His father has driven a sanitation truck his entire life in Compton, California.

    He went to Stanford, went to class, graduated, is extremely well spoken, well written, and removing some of his language and forgiving some hyper-passion would be an ideal role model for young people of all races, simply because of his work ethic, because of his achievements and accomplishments.

    That’s why this thing last night that he did was really out of character, in a sense.

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