Here's the post-game interview with Seahawk Richard Sherman that set off certain parts of the internet last night:
After the jump, you can find a (completely offensive) screenshot of the @yesyoureracist Twitter feed from last night. The person or people behind Yes You're Racist generally concern themselves with reposting people who tweet racist things after prefacing their comment with "I'm not racist, but..." but sometimes, when an event makes the news, they just retweet all the racist tweets they can find. It's a difficult feed to follow, but it serves as a heartbreaking reminder that racists are out there, and they're proud of their ignorance. If you feel up to it, you can see proof of that ignorance after the jump.
So all this is a long way around to telling you that a lot of people are mad at Richard Sherman for bragging loudly on national television. More accurately, most of these people are mad at Richard Sherman for being black and bragging loudly on national television. Bragging in sports is a tradition. In fact, bragging in sports is pretty much the only sports tradition that I care about, because it's fun, and because it's honest. When you're young, and when the whole world's watching your victory, you've got to feel as though you're the greatest human being in the history of the world. Anyone who chooses to relay those feelings creatively earns more of my respect than, say, someone like a Tim Tebow who ostentatiously cloaks his bragging in religious faux-humility. Here's another athlete who engaged in a little bit of post-game braggadocio:
(He also, famously, engaged in some pre-game braggadocio, too.) I know virtually nothing about Richard Sherman besides the fact that he's a Seahawk, and he's good at his job, and that last night, he ranted at a reporter who seemed unequipped to handle that situation. I think Sherman's Beats by Dre commercial does a pretty good job of disarming a lot of these complaints—of explaining that the shit-talk is part of the game, to motivate his team and to upset his opponents. (It does a great job, too, of addressing the casual racism Sherman faces. That look on his face when he gets the question about being a "thug" conveys everything you need to know about his feelings on the question.) If Sherman was a white man, he'd at worst be called an arrogant dick. But because he's a black man, he's letting our children down, he's disrespectful, he's hurting football and sportsmanship. Sherman's response to all this, by the way, is absolutely perfect, proving that it's possible to be a braggart on the field and a classy human being at the exact same time:
A lion doesn't concern himself with the opinions of a sheep.
— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) January 20, 2014
UPDATE 1:09 PM: You really should read Sherman's own account of what happened, over at Sports Illustrated. (Thanks, Davida, for the tip.)