Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman has an amazing response over at Sports Illustrated to all the bogus moralizing about former Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson, who was cut last week for alleged gang ties to members of the Crips. In short, Sherman says that it's ridiculous to think players who grew up in rough neighborhoods with troublesome friends should cut ties with those people once they reach the pros. Rather, he argues that it's better to maintain those relationships and try to "educate them on the right way of doing things" so they can become better people.
But the most salient bit comes when Sherman addresses the blatant racial double standard in the NFL — and really, pro sports in general — when it comes to supposed character flaws. Having been pilloried as a scary black man, an exemplar of "thug culture" for his braggadocio in last year's playoffs, it's an issue Sherman knows intimately. He writes:
Commit certain crimes in this league and be a certain color, and you get help, not scorn. Look at the way many in the media wrote about Jim Irsay after his DUI arrest. Nobody suggested the Colts owner had "ties" to drug trafficking, even though he was caught driving with controlled substances (prescription pills) and $29,000 in cash to do who-knows-what with. Instead, poor millionaire Mr. Irsay needs help, some wrote.
But DeSean Jackson is the menace, right? He's just as bad as those guys he parties with because he threw up a Crip sign in a picture and he owns a gangsta rap record label. If only all record label owners were held to this standard, somebody might realize that Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg weren't the bosses behind NWA. Jim Irsay lookalikes in suits were. [Sports Illustrated]
Give the whole thing a read here.