If Sherman can’t acknowledge something undeniable, is he credible on other subjects?
This story should be dead, but Richard Sherman refuses to let that happen. He has breathed new life into it with flabbergasting stubbornness and pride.
Two months ago, he and local radio host Jim Moore had a testy exchange that ended with Sherman threatening to end Moore’s career. Well, at least that’s what happened according to tape recorders and just about every Seahawks reporter in town.
But now the Seattle cornerback seems to be questioning the reality of an indisputable occurrence. In an interview that ran Monday morning, ESPN’s Cari Champion asked Sherman if he regretted what he said to Moore. His response?
“No, because nobody ever knew what I said. Once again, sources say. Who was there? Did anybody see it? Who was there? Who said it?”
So it was not correct? followed Champion.
“Nobody knows,” Sherman replied. “Nobody knows what was correct. All you hear is he say she say.”
I’m sorry, but this is insane. This isn’t Sherman embellishing the truth or downplaying a mistake — this is Sherman questioning whether a documented event ever took place at all.
I mean … there’s audio of this thing! The “sources” Sherman questions are the iPhones that recorded it. We played the exchange on our website the day it happened, which went as follows.
Sherman, while walking down from the podium: “You don’t want to go there. You do not. I’ll ruin your career.”
Moore: “You’ll ruin my career? How are you going to do that?
Sherman: “I’ll make sure you don’t get your media pass anymore.
Moore: “Is that right?”
Sherman: “Yes. Yes it is.”
What makes all of this even crazier is that Sherman took to Twitter later that day and expressed regret over making it “personal” with Moore. He could have repeated that sentiment on ESPN — or even apologized — but instead gave this bizarre media-is-out-to-get-me response.
Sherman’s like an android whose programming prevents him from showing a morsel of contrition. And it seems there’s no length he won’t go to protect his pride.
Perhaps this sounds like a woe-is-me media story to some. It’s not. The initial exchange with Moore may have been overblown, but what Sherman is doing now is dumbfounding.
It wasn’t long ago that the four-time Pro Bowler was one of the most respected minds in the NFL — a media go-to for intelligent commentary. Whether it was thoughts on officiating, police brutality or race relations, Sherman offered consistent insight that respected news outlets would spread across the web.
But now, be honest — do you still really want to hear from him? If Sherman can’t acknowledge something undeniable, is he credible on other subjects?
“It gets to the point where nobody needs the truth anymore,” Sherman said later in Monday’s ESPN interview. “Nobody cares to know what the truth is. You could just fabricate a story and go with it.”
All right, Richard, here’s the truth.
The truth is that your off-the-field antics increasingly overshadow your on-the-field excellence. The truth is that your reputation is taking a nose dive even if you’ll never admit it. The truth is that, while you’ll always have 12s who blindly support you because of the jersey you wear, you’re repelling the more discerning fans in droves.
It’s a shame, too.
In the first minute of that ESPN interview, Champion mentioned that Sherman had a powerful platform he could use in any way he saw fit. She’s right. And yet, with each puzzling choice he’s made the past several months — from publicly criticizing his head coach and offensive coordinator, to threatening a reporter’s livelihood, to dismissing audio evidence — he’s destroying that platform piece by piece.
It’s just hard to take him seriously anymore.
After watching that interview, local sports radio host Dave “Softy” Mahler tweeted the following.
“Growing trend to blame the media for our own mistakes. Richard Sherman went down that road with ESPN. Disappointing. He’s better than that.”
Is he, though? I’m really starting to wonder.