Richard Sherman held a press conference today for the first time since his postgame interview with Erin Andrews.
At the end of it, he explained the only thing that irked him about the response to the interview: people calling him a “thug.”
He said “thug” was a racially coded epithet that doesn’t apply to him.
“The only reason it bothers me is that it seems like it’s the accepted way of calling people the n-word nowadays. … What’s the definition of a thug, really? Can a guy on the football field, just talking to people — maybe I’m talking loudly, or doing something I’m not supposed to be. But there was a hockey game where they didn’t even play hockey, they just threw the puck aside and started fighting. I saw that and I thought, ‘Oh man, I’m a thug?’ So I’m really disappointed in being called a thug.”
He was referring to the Flames-Canucks brawl earlier this week, when players and coaches started fighting immediately after the puck was dropped.
Sherman grew up in Compton. His father has worked as a trash man there for 30 years. He says he fought his whole life to lose the “thug” stereotype, and it’s a shame it’s coming back now:
“I know some thugs and they know I’m the furthest thing from a thug. I’ve fought that my whole life, just coming from where I come from. Just because you hear Compton, you heard Watts, cities like that you think, ‘Thug. He’s a gangster. He’s this, that, and the other.’ And then you hear Stanford and that doesn’t make sense, it’s an oxymoron. To fight it for so long, and have to hear it come up again, it’s frustrating.”
Immediately after Sherman’s interview, there was a stream of racist responses on social media. Both in this interview today and in his MMQB column on Monday, Sherman has taken those responses to task.
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