Josh Brent, formerly of the Dallas Cowboys, was sentenced to 180 days in jail for killing his teammate after he got drunk and lost control of his car. Meanwhile, Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks is getting roundly criticized in the court of public opinion.
Sherman’s crime? Talking.
Brent has had problems with drinking and driving in the past. Despite extensive efforts by the league to help players avoid stupid decisions, people like Brent keep getting behind the wheel. The result? People continue to be killed by actions that are avoidable.
But hey, at least Brent isn’t making unsportsmanlike comments on TV, right?.
Do not misunderstand here. This is not to suggest that fans or media members would verbally argue that vehicular manslaughter is less of a crime than talking smack in a postgame interview.
However, who is generating a buzz? Sherman. He will continue to be the focal point leading up to the Super Bowl, while the Brent story will quickly fade into the archives.
To give credit where credit is due, David Whitley of Fox Sports wrote a sobering article on Brent, detailing his history with alcohol and legal issues. When you read about Brent’s string of decisions in recent years, it makes the media fervor about Sherman’s comments seem all the more silly.
Again, did Sherman’s “rant” lack a bit of class? Yes. Should you turn to your kid after that interview and say, “When you become a professional athlete, don’t answer a question like that”? Again, yes.
Richard Sherman is a confident athlete, but so far in his career he appears to be a reasonably upstanding citizen. Josh Brent has continually displayed a totally depraved indifference to human life. Brent is yet another example of how addicted America is to alcohol and how society will gladly trade a few lives for access to ample amounts of adult beverages.
Despite all of that, who should we be criticizing? Richard Sherman, apparently. Big picture, people. Big picture.