There's been a lot of ink spilled about Richard Sherman and his postgame rant after the winning play in Sunday's NFC Championship game, including tons by ignorant racists eager to denounce players whose sense of decorum is different than theirs. But Charles Pierce has it about right.
I cannot imagine what it is like to be Richard Sherman, a gifted athlete in a brutal, body-breaking, soul-killing sport who is expected also to be diplomatic at the best moment of his career because millions of people he doesn't know think they did him a favor by letting him excel. I cannot imagine what it is like to be the president, and to be limited even in his power of persuasion by the deep-seated fears of the nation that thinks it has given him permission to be president for a while. What I do know is this, there's a certain way that black people talk that makes white people crazy, and it's long past time for that to be the case. I mean, Christ, did you see that play?
The most interesting phenomenon in all this is the way that Sherman and the Seahawks managed to transform 49ers fans into Republicans -- incapable of comprehending the cold realities of how and why they lost, and the even colder reality that, for the second year in a row, their team proved incapable of winning the big game in the critical moments, they have instead turned to an endless litany of attempts to delegitimize the opponent to whom they lost.
Sherman is just the tip of the iceberg here; Seattle fans are still hearing about how we cheat with noise (Um, dudes, you know that every team and fan base in the league can do what Seahawks fans do if they choose to, right? We definitely are looking forward to hearing all the noise generated by fans in the new Santa Clara stadium ...) and how the refs favored Seattle (oh please). It just does not compute for these people they maybe they actually were beaten by a better team.
Of course, there is no small irony in being lectured about sportsmanship by people incapable of the most simple act of sportsmanship: congratulating the victor, acknowledge that the better team won that day, and saying you look forward to the next meeting. Nope. Not these folks.
So Richard Sherman was on CNN last night with Piers Morgan's crew and laid it all out. Hopefully the people who want to make him out to be the root of all evil can chill out a bit. In the meantime, we hope San Francisco fans either can get over themselves, or can maybe find themselves getting comfortable rubbing elbows with the right-wing bigots who have been leading the anti-Sherman parade. We won't hold our breaths for the former.
Indeed, it's unlikely that anything Sherman says now will matter. Haters gotta hate, and whiners gotta whine.