Richard Sherman, cornerback for the Seattle Seahawks, batted away a Colin Kaerpernick pass in the end zone to preserve a Seahawks victory and a trip to the Super Bowl. As you have seen in the interview above, Sherman was none too humble about the situation.
“I’m the best corner in the game….”
Fox Sports, unfortunately, sent sideline reporter Erin Andrews directly to Sherman after the game. The producers got exactly what they were looking for, a fool to spout off an emotionally charged tirade. Often athletes are not the brightest people among us. They thrive on emotions and neglect the intellect. When a camera and microphone are stuck in their faces after an emotionally grueling game, they end up saying some ignorant and hateful things.
You see, emotions are never “spent.” The game was over and Sherman still had plenty of emotion to override his intellect.
The fool was not finished after he cut short the interview with Erin Andrews. In the postgame interview, after taking time to shower and dress in his sportcoat and tie, Sherman continued his arrogant folly. When asked about 49ers wide receiver, Michael Crabtree, Sherman called him “Mediocre.”
Why does Sherman say unkind things about Crabtree? Apparently, Crabtree said something derogatory to Sherman before the season. Sherman’s reaction: “He said something to me personally. So I’m gonna make it tough on him the rest of his career.” Grudges die hard and turn the ones holding them into hateful, spiteful, irrational fools.
Sherman is the consequence of a culture that believes the lies “You can’t respect others if you don’t respect yourself” and “It’s not bragging if you can back it up.”
Respect is not owed you. It is earned. While everyone is busy respecting themselves they expect to be respected by others. They give no respect because they demand to be respected first. When they don’t get that respect from others they lash out in an emotional tirade. Why should others respect you? They are too busy believing the lie and respecting themselves.
Respect is not unimportant. God’s Word, however, demands we believe something different than the lies of the culture. Romans 12:10 states “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Philippians 2:3 adds “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” It is in respecting others that we will find respect, not in first respecting ourselves.
How often have you heard “It’s not bragging if you can back it up”? I’ve even heard pastors say it. But, what does God say? Proverbs 3:34 “Toward the scorners he is scornful, but to the humble he gives favor.” James, the brother of Jesus, quotes Proverbs this way in James 4:5-6: “Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.'”
God never said “I resist the proud but give grace to those who can back it up.” God’s wisdom advises “Let someone else praise you, and not your own mouth; an outsider, and not your own lips.” Proverbs 27:2. It is in our humility that God will lift us up. See James 4:10. That truth, however, is obfuscated by the dominant lies of the culture.
In contrast to Sherman’s folly is Seahawks quarterback, Russell Wilson’s humility.
“The person I look up to, ultimately, is Jesus Christ. And that’s why I am where I am today.”
In humility Wilson accepts the Lordship of Jesus Christ in his life, that Jesus is greater than Wilson is. In humble submission to God, Wilson acknowledges his station in life is only by the grace of God. The consuming passion in Wilson’s life is not in destroying another player’s career, but in lifting up the potential in young lives. In his short career, Wilson has already established the Russell Wilson Passing Academy. This youth camp seeks to develop children with high moral character and a love for God, family and country.
The tale of two Seahawks shows one man who loves himself above all others and one who loves all others above himself. In watching both interviews, tell me, whom would you prefer to be like?