His testosterone- and adrenaline-laced interview after the NFL National Football Conference title game brought race, sports, and notions of proper Black behavior to the forefront of America’s psyche and media—again. A clear signal was sent, experts and analysts told The Final Call: Fame, wealth, and athletic prowess are fine, so long as a Black man stays docile, quiet and in his place.
It began with reporter Erin Andrews, the dream girl of FOX Sports holding the mic, asking cornerback Sherman for reactions to a win over the San Francisco 49ers and his game-saving pass deflection away from on-field nemesis Michael Crabtree.
“The final play, take me through it,” said the blonde-tressed reporter, running up to the dreadlocked All-Pro as he left the field and confetti flew in the background. “Well, I’m the best corner in the game! When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree, that’s the result you gonna get! Don’t you ever talk about me!” said still-hyped victor Sherman. “Who was talking about you?” Ms. Andrews asked. “Crabtree! Don’t you open your mouth about the best, or I’m gonna shut it for you real quick! LOB!” he declared. LOB is the nickname for Seattle’s hard-hitting secondary defense, “Legion of Boom.”
“Back to you,” said a shaky-voiced Andrews, at the order of a Fox Sports producer, who felt the 30 second interview was straying into “dangerous” territory. The cornerback later said receiver Crabtree was disrespectful at an off-season event and refused a Jan. 19 post-game handshake. The All-Pro won some fans for his raw—no cursing, no obscene gestures—gridiron gladiator tirade. But a quick, obscene response erupted as the Stanford grad and masters degree candidate was labeled a “monkey,” a “thug” and a “n-gg-r” on social media. [Read More]