Two days after trading Michael Bennett to the Philadelphia Eagles for a fifth-round draft and wide receiver Marcus Johnson the Seattle Seahawks announced the release of All-Pro Cornerback Richard Sherman and cornerback Jeremy Lane.
The business side of sports hit Seattle Seahawks fans like a mid-November downpour while driving I-5 South. Dark skies, poor visibility and going nowhere fast. In order for the release of Lane and especially Sherman to hurt there had to have been admiration, respect, and love between the fans, organization and the player. And yes wins. During the seven years that Sherman spent with the Seahawks, there were plenty of wins.
Two Superbowl appearances with one win, three NFC West Divisional Titles, in the seven years that Sherman played with the Seahawks, the team finished third just once and 2017 was the only year the team failed to make the playoffs.
Sherman’s on-field contributions where unparalleled. Part of Shermans downfall may have been that he made it look too easy. Many fans believed that it all came naturally to him and that he did not have to work hard.
Players and coaches were well aware that he was not the case and that Sherman was tireless in his preparation for practice and games. With fans and non-Seattle media, this everything comes easy attitude turned into you are just another spoiled athlete speaking about social injustices that you are immune to. Which was actually the opposite.
While Sherman understood the economic privilege he gained from playing football he was always aware and willing to take a stand for Social Justice. Here is what Sherman said in his postgame interview with media after the Seahawks stayed in the locker room while the National Anthem was being played before their match with the Tennesse Titans on September 24th.
“It means strength. It means hope. It means there’s a chance. It means we have enough people that care enough, that is selfless enough, to sacrifice for the greater good of others. When you do something like this, even as a team and as an individual, you’re putting yourself in harm’s way. You’re putting yourself in a bullseye on your back. And we’re putting our teammates in that, but in order to make a point, in order to be like the Muhammad Alis, the Malcolm Xs, the Martin Luther Kings, you have to do that. You have to take those tough roads instead of taking the easy road.
Today, we could have gone out there and played a ballgame and did nothing, just played it normal. And I’m sure there are some teams that went out there and did that, and that’s fine too. There’s nothing wrong with that. But, sometimes you have to take it upon yourself to go out there and represent the people that are the same skin tone as you, the people you know are still suffering out in the streets and being treated a certain way. You want to make sure that they understand that we’re with them too.”
Where Sherman lands for the upcoming season and how the Seahawks will move forward is yet to be determined. What is know is that the Seahawks and Sherman have parted ways with a reunion unlikely in the immediate future.