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Thug = Nigger (The Notorious Richard Sherman Interview)

 

 

What was most intriguing perhaps was the word that kept popping up in the comments over and over again.  That word was “thug.”

I wonder, what does “thug” mean?

 

Earlier tonight, a player for the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks was cornered by one of those inane sideline reporters just seconds after making an outstanding defensive play, which enabled his team to go to the Super Bowl.

In the heat of that thrilling moment — undoubtedly the highlight of the young player’s career — he made a number of “in-your-face” comments directed at an opposing football player and boldly announced to everyone watching, “I’m the best corner(back) in the game.”

No doubt, this was a jaw-dropping television moment, that caught the interviewer off guard.  The player was on an emotional high; then suddenly, a microphone was stuck in his face and he was asked about his feelings.  That doesn’t happen to defensive backs very often.  Quarterbacks?  Yes.  Head Coaches?  Yes.  Cornerbacks?  No.

Moreover, who knows what choice words were said on the field during the heat of competition just moments before the interview that triggered his fury?  Apparently, the bad blood between the two players started months ago.  We clearly witnessed something happen, just moments beforehand.  Did you happen to catch that?  The opposing player (San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree), in what appeared to be a terrible display of sportsmanship, essentially bitch slapped the defensive player who was then interviewed just a short time later.  Supposedly, everyone expected him to be gracious under these highly emotional circumstances.

I was struck, but not entirely surprised by the fallout, which included predictable outrage directed against this player named Richard Sherman.  Comments at Twitter and Facebook were both immediate and scathing.  Sherman was instantly the villain.

What was most intriguing perhaps was the word that kept popping up in the comments over and over again.  That word was “thug.”

What does “thug” mean?

Does Sherman go and beat up people on the street?  Does he have a criminal record?

Well, no.  And, no.  In fact, Sherman grew up in one of the toughest areas of the country, Compton — which is basically a zip code away from South Central Los Angeles.  Does that make him a thug?  I seriously doubt it, since he rose far above where most youngsters from that area end up in life.  He not only played for Stanford University, but he also graduated.  He’s now pursuing a Master’s Degree in communications during the off-season.  Oh, the irony.

So, I presume this word “thug” was chosen for one reason and one reason only — because Sherman happens to be black.

Go ahead.  Tell me.  Am I wrong?

Would we call an excitable white player a “thug?”  Do we call the imbeciles on the television show Jersey Shore “thugs?’  No, we don’t.  This seems to be a derogatory word that applies only to minorities, and specifically blacks.

I know what some of you are thinking.  I’m making this about race again.  Manufacturing a controversy.  That’s so tiresome, isn’t it?

Well, it is tiresome.  And it wouldn’t be an issue so frequently except for the fact there’s something to this subterfuge mentality.  Especially those of us from more privileged backgrounds who look at people from the inner city and conveniently issue snap judgments.  Lazy.  Thugs.  You know the lingo.

Should Sherman have acted differently and said something else at that instant?  Should he have been more gracious in victory?  I suppose so.  But this isn’t a vanilla world.  It’s Neapolitan.  There’s only one Peyton Manning.  There’s only one Russell Wilson.  Just as there was only one Ray Lewis, and one Deion Sanders.  Different people express themselves in different ways, especially in the heat of the moment.  Thank goodness for that.

So, let’s just call out this “thug” word for what it really is — a nicer more acceptable way to say “nigger.”

Oh, and one more thing.  Don’t bitch and moan about today’s athletes being thugs, because the athletes of yesteryear were just as bad.  Michael Jordan is a total jerk.  Mickey Mantle, who I’ve met a few times, was a prick.  And Willie Mays, who I met twice, was a total asshole.  Should we go all the way back to Ty Cobb?  So don’t start with the shit about Sherman being part of a modern-day problem among athletes.  Emotion and bravado and have been part of the game since the ball was invented.

Here’s the interview with Richard Sherman.  You can judge for yourselves.

 

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