Richard Sherman: "Thug" is simply the "accepted way of calling somebody the N-word"

The Seattle Seahawks player calls out those who demonized him for his post-game remarks

Published January 22, 2014 10:25PM (EST)

Seattle Seahawk cornerback Richard Sherman spoke in Seattle on Wednesday with the media, expressing regret that his infamous post-game boisterousness had distracted many from appreciating the hard work and talent of his fellow teammates and calling out those who were quick to label him a "thug."

“The only reason it bothers me is because it seems like it’s the accepted way of calling somebody the N-word nowadays,” Sherman said. “It’s like everybody else said the N-word, and then they say 'thug.' And that’s fine. That’s where it’s kind of, you know — it kind of takes me aback. And it’s kind of disappointing, because they know. What’s the definition of a thug, really?”

Sherman isn't the only one who has noticed a not-so-subtle racial subtext in some of his harshest critics' words. Forget subtext, actually — as the sports blog Deadspin has shown, much of the response to Sherman, especially on Twitter, was blatantly, unapologetically racist. But the "thug" charge has been more prominent. As Deadspin noted in a separate post, the Monday following Sherman's post-game interview saw the word "thug" used on television 625 times, "more often than on any other day in the past three years."

Watch Sherman's remarks below:

(h/t ThinkProgress)

By Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a former Salon staff writer.

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