by Kent Sterling
[Ed. Note: This post was changed to reflect the date of the Sherman appearance – almost a year ago. I didn’t see the show when it initially aired and was told by someone I trust that Sherman appeared on the show today.]
One thing we know about Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman is that he is going to tell everyone what he thinks.
Whether you believe he’s right, wrong, crazy, or the sanest man in the world, he is without a doubt honest. That deserves our respect.
Almost a year before blasting Michael Crabtree in a series of entertaining and loud diatribes, he was a guest on ESPN’s 1st Take, where he told co-host Skip Bayless exactly what he thinks. I liked that, and I’m sure Bayless enjoyed it too.
Not everyone is right 100% of the time, but there is no excuse for speaking one’s mind. Sherman judged Bayless based upon the widely held belief that Bayless simply takes a position – any position – and argues it. Some think he’s an idiot who embodies everything wrong with sports media, and clearly Sherman is one of those.
The truth is that Bayless is a Lisagor Award winning columnist, an Emmy nominee, an Illinois sportswriter of the year, and a three time Texas sportswriter of the year.
Think what you will about Bayless, but he knows his job and performs well. Clearly, he doesn’t mind being disliked, and knows that contentious dialogue is good for his brand.
Sherman appears not to be a football player who minds ruffling a few feathers himself, as he shouted about San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree being a “mediocre” wide receiver into every microphone thrust in front of him yesterday.
I liked what Sherman had to say yesterday. Our culture needs more people willing to say the unpopular thing in a very direct way. Over the last 40 years, we have become allergic to hearing the truth as others believe it, and then either dismissing or embracing it. None of us suffered any ill-effects because of Sherman’s outbursts yesterday.
But a year ago he showed a propensity to speak out of turn, and that discredits everything he has said since. Before he attacked Bayless, he should have known as much about Skip as he expects Skip to know about him.
As we’ve learned with Bayless over the years – volume plus ignorance does not equal wisdom.
No one should ever owe Bayless an apology, but Sherman did.