Richard Sherman: ‘Thug’ Is Accepted Way of Calling Someone N-Word

Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports, January 22, 2014

Richard Sherman’s post-game rant Sunday night has overshadowed every other Super Bowl storyline, even the ones involving Peyton Manning’s relative struggles in the postseason and/or cold weather.


On Monday, Sherman, writing for, explained that while family and friends congratulated him on the victory, “Many of my Twitter mentions were less supportive,” which is about as diplomatically as you can put it. He has since apologized for making the moments following the game about himself and not his teammates.

During a Wednesday press conference, Sherman was asked if “thug,” a word that was used often on message boards and social media to describe the Seahawks cornerback, bothers him more than any other term.

“The reason it bothers me is because it seems like it’s an accepted way of calling somebody the N-word now,” he said. “It’s like everybody else said the N-word and then they say ‘thug’ and that’s fine. It kind of takes me aback and it’s kind of disappointing because they know.

“What’s the definition of a thug? Really? Can a guy on a football field just talking to people [be a thug?] . . . There was a hockey game where they didn’t even play hockey! (Laughter from the media) They just threw the puck aside and started fighting. I saw that and said, ‘Ah, man, I’m the thug? What’s going on here?'” (More laughter from the media). So I’m really disappointed in being called a thug,” he said.


Deadspin notes that the word “thug” was uttered 625 times on American television the day following the Seahawks’ win. That’s more than any other single day in the last three years.

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