In the world of sports, being aggressive is something very common. Football players push, shove, and tackle for the sake of a football. Basketball players charge each other to show aggressive dominance in a game. Hockey is riddled with fights. All of these aspects are the nature of the game. However, it always depends on who's playing.
Following the Seattle Seahawks victory over the San Francisco 49ers, Richard Sherman and Michael Crabtree got into a physical altercation, one that seeped over into the post game interview. Richard Sherman let off some of his aggression in his interview letting people know that he dominated the field and how he is superior over Crabtree, the aggressor of the fight. This is normal sports talk, ranting, raving, back and forth sports talk. But, with Sherman's face and demeanor, he began to be considered as a "common thug."
It is hilariously predictable that Sherman would have been called this. There were memes being created that depicted him as a "thug" and everyone tweeted how "upsetting" it was for him to speak like that. However, Sherman, who hails from Compton, California, was at the top of his class in high school (not just a dumb jock who got lucky), and a Stanford graduate shows just how little of a thug he truly is. People like Sherman come from difficult situations where they have to choose to be the only good person in a sea of bad people. He has never seen the inside of a prison. He has never been involved in criminality of the field. He knows what a thug can really be and what they can really look like, so he made his accusations about the people who deemed him to be one.
Sherman, in another interview, called out what really is being said when he is called a thug. He says, "The only reason it bothers me is because it seems like it's the accepted way of calling someone the N-word nowadays." He goes on to discuss how people hear where he's from and assume he is a "thug" or "gangster" and then hear Stanford and see it as an "oxymoron" like it is some impossibility. He knows what it means and how degrading it is. He strives to continue to not care what others think.
Sherman did nothing excessive. He was fresh off a fight, one that he did not start, and he turns around to a nation mad at him for being mad. A nation of people who would have done the same thing. Sherman is not thug. There are real thugs out there that Americans are and should be afraid of. Richard Sherman is the least of our worries. The question is now posed, that if this aggression came from a white player with a nice hair cut and winning smile, who got made after a brawl, would he be a thug? Black America knows that he is a called a thug because he is black and angry, teaching us that blacks are not allowed to be angry anywhere in America.
Hockey has their fights (which Sherman jokes about in his post game interview), football has its penalties, and soccer has illegal kicks, and basketball has its fouls. Aggression is a part of the game and these athletes lives. It is not as simple as flipping a switch.