SEATTLE, WA – As the Seahawks prepare for their Wild Card game against the Detroit Lions on Saturday night, local Seattle media will be at the team’s facilities looking to report the latest buzz surrounding the team. NFL players all around the league typically speak to the media on a regularly-scheduled day during the week, but this week Seattle corner-back Richard Sherman is declining to talk to local reporters.
According to an article written by Seattle Times reporter Bob Condotta, Sherman declined a request to talk to local reporters before the team’s Wednesday practice. Sherman said that he would instead only talk to ESPN reporter Ed Werder, a well-known personality from the WorldWide Leader in Sports. Sherman said that he would talk to Werder and do the rest of his talking through social media.
“[Me and Ed] have a good rapport,” Sherman said.
The only exception to this was that Sherman said that he would talk to Liz Mathews of ESPN 710 Seattle through text, but only because she was the only local reporter who had not made Sherman mad recently. Apparently last week Sherman had said in his press conference that reporters would “miss him when he’s gone,” in reference to how the media has upset him recently.
Two weeks ago, Sherman told Jim Moore of ESPN 710 Seattle that he would “ruin his career” by having his credential revoked.
Sherman is one of the more outspoken players in the NFL, and he has not been afraid to let his voice be heard. On several occasions he has criticized both the NFL and its commissioner, Roger Goodell. Sherman’s negative comments about Thursday Night Football are well known, and he is a regular writer for The Player’s Tribune.
Although I have agreed with a lot of what Sherman has said and done in the past, I have a problem with him now.
First off, who the hell does he think he is? As someone who is aspiring to become a sports reporter, interviewing players is a dream of mine. Breaking into this industry is very challenging, and you have to be good at what you do. You have to earn it if you want to be in this business.
Speaking to the media is a part of any professional athlete’s job. When players talk to reporters, they have to approach it a certain way. When a player is asked to speak to the media, that player is representing themselves, the team and the organization. Not just any player gets to talk to the media on a regular basis; only those who play regularly that the coach trusts.
I get it, talking to the media is annoying for athletes. I’m sure that players and coaches would rather be doing a number of things before talking to us pesky reporters. However, just as there is in any entertainment or political event, there will be reporters there to get a message out to those who are interested in that particular topic. We are there to get information out, and we need people within that event to help tell the story.
With that point, players and coaches on sports teams often get annoyed at the media for how we frame questions. Oftentimes there are pieces of information that a coach or player does not want to get leaked out and the media will ask about it. Other times there are bad things that happen within a team, and players & coaches do not want to talk about it. Listen – we know that 95% of the information players and coaches know will never get leaked to the media. I cannot tell you how many press conferences I have watched where a player talks for five minutes without actually saying anything noteworthy. It does not change the fact that the questions we ask still need to be asked because the team’s fans & followers want to know the details.
We are the voice for the fans. We are there to get the information out. It’s our job.
If I am a member of the Seattle media that Sherman is refusing to talk to, I have a problem with Sherman. If I am a Seahawks player continuing to talk to the media while Sherman sits on Twitter instead of talking to reporters, I have a problem with him. If I’m Pete Carroll – I tell Sherman to get over himself and talk to the damn reporters for five minutes. Sherman gets paid millions of dollars to do his job (and he does a very good job of doing it), and part of that job is to be the voice of the team.
To Richard Sherman, I say that if a reporter asks you a stupid question, smile and say that you do not want to answer that question. It’s not that hard. If other players and coaches in every sport do it, why can’t you?
I have the answer to that question – your ego is spiraling out of control.
If Sherman wants to stare at a screen to answer the questions people on Twitter have, great. More power to him. However, this is a bad look and is a slap in the face to not only the Seattle media, but to Seahawks fans as well. Sherman has now crossed a line with the local Seattle media, and I doubt that any member of that group will ever respect him again.