The 49ers’ Richard Sherman joined Laugh Out Loud’s Kevin Hart to talk aging, stereotypes and giving back to less-fortunate kids.
Not long ago, the perennial Pro Bowler and All-Pro was enemy No. 1 for most Niners fans until he left the Seattle Seahawks and inked a three-year deal with San Francisco back in 2018, getting back to the Hall of Fame-caliber ways once more with yet another Pro Bowl campaign with the defending NFC champions in 2019.
Sherman, who recently turned 32 years old, joined the Laugh Out Loud network’s Kevin Hart on his new show, Cold As Balls: Cold Calls, to discuss a variety of different topics.
And judging by Sherman’s comments, the veteran corner doesn’t appear to be interested in retirement anytime soon.
“The game, as I’ve gotten older, has gotten easier,” Sherman said. “So many people come in here with all this high praise. ‘Oh, man. This kid can run with the horses or he can jump out the gym. He can do all that.’ But that doesn’t always translate to a great football player. The game is played above the shoulders.”
Sherman wrapped up his 2019 regular-season campaign with his fifth Pro Bowl selection and a second-team All-Pro nomination after recording 61 tackles, three interceptions, a touchdown, 11 passes defended and a whopping 896 defensive snaps, which was second on the Niners to only linebacker Fred Warner (985).
The stats and accolades add credence to what the veteran cornerback does off the field, too, both in terms of raising his voice to point out social injustices and the differences faced by both black and white athletes.
“I can use the same vernacular, same vocabulary as the right guy next to me who doesn’t have pigment in his skin,” Sherman commented when comparing what he phrased as the “well-spoken conversation.” “But you don’t call him well-spoken because that’s the expectation.”
Sherman, who received his degree in Communications from Stanford, didn’t hesitate to point out the differences associated with race and the expectation levels between “well-spoken” athletes, both white and black, adding yet another element to the conversation of race perceptions facing the country and the world.
But rather than just calling out the problem, Sherman wants to take aim at rectifying the situation, recognizing education and giving younger people better chances is one of the best ways to alleviate the differences and perceptions.
“Whatever blessings, what stuff you’re given, it’s really to give back to elevate other people,” Sherman added. “It’s to go back and say, ‘hey, these people have less, give them more.’ Elevate them, use your platform to ‘each one, teach one and each one, raise one. Each one, help one.'”
Those efforts propelled the 49ers to name Sherman their nominee for the 2019 Walter Payton Man of the Year award, specifically after founding Blanket Coverage, the Richard Sherman Family Foundation, which was formed during his time in Seattle to help low-income and at-risk students from low-income communities with supplies necessary for success, as well as a number of other services those students would otherwise have difficulty getting.
So, while Sherman might be known for his chatter, there’s no questioning he turns that chatter into actions and deeds.
Both on and off the field.
You can check out more of Hart’s Cold As Balls: Cold Calls series here.