Seattle Seahawks defensive back Richard Sherman has been boiled in the proverbial oil this last week for his post-NFC Championship game rant. Even some of my friends in the sportsmanship and character world have jumped in with negative things to say about the Stanford grad.
However, no one other than Sherman himself has referenced the nonsense that occurred the night before the NFC title game between the Vancouver Canucks and the Calgary Flames. Sherman has been called just about everything in the book for yelling into a camera and calling the 49ers Michael Crabtree a “sorry receiver.”
“There was a hockey game where they didn’t even play hockey,” he said. “I saw that and I was like ‘Oh man, and I’m the thug?'” Here’s what Sherman was talking about if you haven’t seen it (email subscribers click here to view media).
Richard Sherman is not a thug and neither are these hockey players. On the other hand, it is interesting who is called a thug in our sports culture and who isn’t. I’ve been a staunch critic of fighting in professional hockey for some time now.
It adds nothing to the sport. For those who think it does, watch the playoffs. When Lord Stanley’s Cup is on the line, nary a punch is thrown. The game stands on its own merit…as all sports should. Besides, if fighting is your thing, there is a sport for that.
Hockey fighting also sends the poorest of messages to kids. Words can be interpreted differently depending on the person and his perspective. There’s no ambiguity in a right cross to the jaw, though. Let’s not be hypocrites here. What’s good for the goose is for the gander — and the Seahawk and the Canuck and the Flame.