Richard Sherman (on athletic stereotyping)

“I felt like somebody took me from somewhere else and dropped me down into this place [Compton, a rough section of Los Angeles]. I was strange because I went to class, did the work, read the books and was still pretty good at sports….I know the jock stereotype – cool guy, walking around with your friends, not caring about school, not caring about anything. I hate that stereotype. I want to destroy it.”

Richard Sherman, DB, Seattle Seahawks (NFL), in a Sports Illustrated cover story, 29 July 2013. Speaking of stereotypes, Sherman is black, wears long dreadlocks, graduated a frustratingly close second in his high school class, and chose (and graduated on time from) Stanford University instead of the more highly ranked football factories that recruited him. Though he talks more trash than would appear humble, he is a small treasure to this coach and writer and long-time catcher and flinger of balls: Sherman is a talking, walking stereotype-buster, a jock with brains and no intention of hiding them. His story made an interesting companion to Steve Rushin’s piece on humility in the same issue, as Sherman is not shy about bringing attention to himself.