Richard Sherman, not a thug.

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By: Tim Van Duyne

Championship Sunday in the NFL was great this year, but the big story of the week hasn’t been about anything that took place on the field. The talk of the NFL has been all about Richard Sherman’s postgame interview with Fox sideline reporter Erin Andrews.

After making one of the biggest plays of his career, and securing his Seattle Seahawks’ spot in the Super Bowl, Sherman told Andrews, “Im the best corner in the game! When you try me with a sorry receiver like (Michael) Crabtree that’s the result you’re going to get!”

News stations across the nation were quick to call the Compton native and Stanford graduate a “thug” for his boisterous comments. The word “thug” was uttered more times (625) in one day than ever before, thanks to some research by Deadspin.com.

It’s obvious what people mean when they call someone a “thug”, and it’s not directed at just anybody. You never hear a broadcaster call a hockey player who just got into fight in the middle of a game a “thug.” But when a fight breaks out in the NBA or NFL, commentators can’t get the word out of their mouth fast enough.

In my personal observation of when the word “thug” is thrown around, whether it be from a friend or a commentator on TV, it’s never directed at a white person. The definition of a “thug” could easily mean a black person, who is doing something that he/she shouldn’t be doing.

The all-pro and Super Bowl bound cornerback addressed being called a “thug” and what the word denotes in a press conference back in Seattle this week.

He described using the word “thug” is like the “accepted way of calling somebody the N-word nowadays.” The sad thing is, this is the truth, and people can get away with it.

Sherman came from the notoriously rough streets of Compton. He was able to get accepted into Stanford. He became an all-american receiver, before getting injured and switching to defensive back. Oh yea, and he graduated from Stanford with a 3.9 GPA. And now he is the best cornerback in the NFL and one win away from his first Super Bowl ring.

Sherman’s talked a big game, but what’s more impressive is he’s been able to back all of it up.

Richard Sherman may have a big mouth, tatoos and dreads, but he’s no thug.

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