Today, Richard Sherman wrote another piece for MMQB, this one about DeSean Jackson, the way that he and Jackson grew up, and the Philadelphia Eagles’ treatment of Jackson and other players. Of course, many will disagree with Sherman on some of what he says, and others will disagree with literally anything he says. But if you actually take a second to think deeply about what he’s saying, you’ll realize that he’s saying exactly what professional sports and its fans need to hear.
I haven’t written about it here, but I’ve always hated the idea that someone should automatically distance themselves from a past friend simply because they’ve become successful. Sherman hammered home that point perfectly, criticizing those who themselves criticize athletes for not cutting ties with friends who have dirt under their fingernails. If there are just a handful of people on the planet who would’ve taken a bullet for you back in the day, are you really gonna cut ties with them just because you have a lot of money later in life.
Sherman didn’t specifically make this point, but another thing to remember is how often you hear the phrase “It’s a business.” Bill Belichick is famous for that mindset, as he should be. While a franchise can and should treat a player like family, it’s clear that the relationship between player and organization is almost always all about business. So how is a guy like DeSean Jackson going to distance himself from the few people who care for him unconditionally, just because people who care about him as a business asset are asking him to do so.
From how Sherman called out the Eagles for treating Riley Cooper and DeSean Jackson differently, to how he revealed just how good of a person DJax’s father was, to just about anything else he said, I fully support all of it and encourage you to read the piece. But the point that I broke down about “cutting ties” with guys with “character questions” was his best point overall.