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Richard Sherman exposes NFL’s double standard.

  • Jim Racalto
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Seattle Seahawks’ outspoken cornerback Richard Sherman, who played youth football and baseball with DeSean Jackson, made it a point in a recent column to point out the double standard the NFL has regarding off-the-field issues and race.

Jackson was released from the Philadelphia Eagles for allegedly having gang ties, however it is important to remember that Jackson himself has never been in legal trouble. Although Jackson has since signed with the Washington Redskins, Sherman hit the nail on the head several times in his column.

Some excerpts from the column include:

“Was DeSean supposed to then say, “Thanks guys, but now that I’m a millionaire, please leave me alone”? Even if he wanted to, he wouldn’t have. In desperate times for people who come from desperate communities, your friends become your family. I wouldn’t expect DeSean to “distance himself” from anybody, as so many people suggest pro athletes ought to do despite having no understanding of what that means.”

“I can’t change who I grew up with, but what I can do is try to educate them on the right way of doing things, help them when they need it, and try to keep them out of trouble.”

“And if they’re accused of a crime, as DeSean’s friends have been, should that reflect poorly on me? Consider that for every several guys I try to help who end up dead or in jail, there’s another person I was able to rescue from a similar end. Should I give up on everybody out of fear of being dirtied by the media?”

Sherman then goes on to say how the Eagles decided to keep Riley Cooper, who was caught on tape yelling a racial slur while drunk at a concert, and he was given counseling before returning to the league, and at least fined. Colts’ owner Jim Irsay was arrested for DUI, had loads of drugs on him, and $29,000 in cash. He was sympathized in the media, and everyone suggested he go to rehab.

But DeSean Jackson still has friends from where he grew up, so that obviously makes him a threat (please notice the sarcasm there), even though he’s kept his nose clean his whole career and has done countless deeds in the community and charitable realms.

This is the double standard of mainstream media and the NFL, and Richard Sherman once again displayed his intelligence by exposing it in an articulate fashion using examples of how others have been treated. I personally think the Eagles used the “gang affiliation” card as a plausible reason to release Jackson with the intent to save money, and they didn’t realize they would tarnish his reputation in the process.

Maybe the Eagles were just being cautious. But they sort of made it seem like Jackson was physically acting in a “gangster” fashion because of who he hangs out with, when in reality his off-the-field behavior turns up nothing. He has no record of any kind.

The Washington Redskins got themselves a hell of a ball player, and I can’t wait to see Jackson stick it to the Eagles when they meet twice a year. As for the NFL, the organization itself had no say in the Eagles’ decision to release Jackson, but they operate in a hypocritical fashion in terms of who they suspend or fine, and what they suspend or fine them for. I think that attitude filters down into the front offices of some teams, and that results in situations like Jackson’s with the Eagles.

I would love to sit down with every NFL front office official, every NFL owner, and every NFL general manager, and ask them how many people they deem negative influences they have cut out of their lives since they became successful. After all, that’s what they expect players to do, right? Just another hypocrisy in a long line of them.



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Jim Racalto

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