2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

The Seahawks Richard Sherman and the value of American public conversation

Published: January 25, 2014, 10:22 am, by David Ramsey




Richard Sherman’s goofy, comical, cruel, wild, inspired, misguided rant following the Seahawks narrow win over the 49ers started a national conversation even more fascinating than his original words.

He was attacked. He was defended. Those who defended him were outraged by those who attacked him. Those who attacked him were just as outraged by those who defended him. He often was called names. He even more often was elevated to a rebel/hero, even compared to Muhammad Ali. (I’ll write more about the Ali/Sherman angle next week in a column in The Gazette and on Gazette.com.)

I was offended by Sherman’s rant, largely because he ridiculed and attacked Michael Crabtree. If Sherman had limited his shouting to the heavens, and to Erin Andrews, about the matchless wonderfulness of Richard Sherman, that would have been fine and funny. But I can’t applaud a player who demeans another player.

Still, this conversation he began has been exciting. I was happy to see Sherman eventually earn more defenders and fans than attackers and enemies. He is, no doubt, an American success story, a Stanford graduate, a superlative football player. A young man in dreadlocks who speaks his mind was embraced by the majority of our nation’s sports fans.

That’s good news.