When Your Explanation is Worse than Your Alleged Offense

Following this past weekend’s NFC championship football game Seattle’s outstanding cornerback, Richard Sherman, let his emotions get the best of him in a post game interview. In short, he went off on a rant aimed at an opposing player. He was loud and forceful, but his rant was devoid of any profane or offensive language.

I find it hard to criticize any guy who is caught up in a very emotional moment with a microphone in his face. As they say: but for the grace of God that could have been me.

Unfortunately, we live in an age where nearly everything gets blown out of proportion. Thanks to social media, too many people with too much free time are able to express their opinions to the world without even taking a moment for reflection.

In this case as you would expect, things degenerated rather quickly to where he was predictably labeled a classless fool, a thug and plenty of even more offensive names. I find it sad that we live in an age where the lowest common denominator gets all of the attention.

I suspect if we focused on the great game winning play he made instead of sensationalizing his heat of the moment outburst, that we would all feel better about life, the game, and ourselves. Schadenfreude (the taking of pleasure from someone else’s suffering) may be in vogue these days, but there are much surer paths to finding joy in your life.

I like Richard Sherman and find him to be a very interesting and engaging personality, aside from his great football acumen. Having said that, I was disappointed in one comment that unnecessarily took away from the otherwise excellent article that he wrote for Sports Illustrated’s Monday Morning QB the following day: “To those who would call me a thug or worse because I show passion on a football field—don’t judge a person’s character by what they do between the lines. Judge a man by what he does off the field, what he does for his community, what he does for his family.”

Would you judge the character of say, Bernard Madoff or Adolph Hitler by what they did for their communities and their families and simply ignore the fact that Madoff stole people’s life savings in his business life and Hitler tried to exterminate an entire race of people in his life’s work? I didn’t think so. You judge a person’s character by their actions in all areas of their life. No one gets a ‘get out of jail free card’ in any area of their lives when it comes to character.

When trying to get your point across remember that less is often more. As the quote, often misattributed to former president Abraham Lincoln, that was actually originated by Maurice Switzer, cautions: “It is better to remain silent at the risk of being thought a fool, than to talk and remove all doubt of it.”


You can follow Sam on Twitter @SuperTaoInc


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