The Snapback Reaction
Philip Taylor Writer|Designer•Pak Headwear
Amazon has been a pioneer in streaming services and has continued to innovate in the realm of sports. The NFL is one of the few sports that Amazon has yet to cover but will make history in its first year as the exclusive rights holder to “Thursday Night Football.” With the massive opportunity, they will be putting a new team on the field led by one of the most controversial players in the NFL: Richard Sherman. Sherman will be the newest member of the broadcast team and is sure to provide a different, yet raw perspective on the game. Amazon’s lineup of talent for “TNF” already includes Al Michaels, Kirk Herbstreit, Tony Gonzalez, and Charissa Thompson.
Sherman, a graduate of Stanford University, played for the Seahawks, 49ers, and Buccaneers. His intellect, outspoken persona, and impact on the game are well defined amongst the most productive players in the NFL. The five-time pro-bowler boasts impressive stats worth HOF mentions. He is the current interception leader for all active players and may not have played his last NFL game. He was asked if the Amazon deal officially meant retiring from the NFL and his response was clear about a potential return.
“No, no, I’m still leaving that door open as long as I can,” Sherman said, via NFL.com. “I’m going to keep training and staying in shape, but gotta take the opportunities when they’re there, and this is an amazing opportunity with Amazon, so I couldn’t pass it up.”
The 2022 season runs through Dec 29 giving Sherman enough time to catch on with a team thereafter. The 34-year-old could find himself chasing another Superbowl by year’s end.
Off the field, Sherman is just as boisterous. He is avid when it comes to social reform and justice for all. During the 2020 season, Sherman used his platform to speak candidly about George Floyd and his controversial death.
“Unarmed and Black is not a crime and should not be treated as such,” Sherman said in a Twitter post. “I will not argue or engage in discussion with individuals who cannot understand that basic premise. Basic fairness and justice is all that has been asked for and it has not been given.”
Although Sherman is brash, he is one of the more charitable players in the NFL. The Richard Sherman Family Foundation has donated tens of thousands of dollars to multiple organizations in support of children and families in low-income communities. In 2019 he was nominated NFL man of the year and listed #67 on the NFL 100 Greatest Characters list. Speaking to kids from the toughest parts of Los Angeles at a 2017 event, Sherman concluded with a lifelong message.
“Understand that anything is possible no matter where you come from. It doesn’t matter where you start, you could be successful. You’ve got to believe in yourself more than anybody else will ever believe in you. Success is not a straight line. It’s not an easy thing to accomplish. If you work hard and you wake up every day and think you’ve got a shot, then you’ll do what you want to do.”
Now it must be noted that Sherman has had his transgressions off the field. In 2021 the free-agent cornerback was arrested near Seattle and booked on charges of burglary domestic violence, resisting arrest, and malicious mischief. Video of his actions spewed on social media and became the topic of discussion for weeks.
After the arrest, he stated feeling “deeply remorseful,” and pleaded guilty in King County Superior Court to two misdemeanor counts, first-degree negligent driving and second-degree criminal trespass. He also admitted to a criminal infraction of speeding in a roadway construction zone.
“I’m grateful for the community we have and the way people continue to accept you even though you’re a flawed human being and made a mistake,” Sherman told the court.
Having experienced the highs and lows, Sherman should have no issues connecting with fans from the booth. He’s highly intelligent, a champion, compassionate, and incredibly raw. Expect a mouthful from the future Hall of Famer as he embarks on a new chapter in life. The NFL’s 103rd season begins with the league’s annual primetime kickoff game, as the defending Super Bowl Champion Los Angeles Rams host the Buffalo Bills at SoFi Stadium on Thursday, September 8 (8:20 PM ET, NBC).