Richard Sherman Speaks And Almost Breaks The Internet: Race, Media, And Football

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Dr.. Gregory Perreault, Associate Professor (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
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Abstract: On January 19, 2014, NFL star Richard Sherman made a game winning play, blocking a pass intended for receiver Michael Crabtree in a matchup between the Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers. In an interview with Erin Andrews immediately following the game, Sherman, with great intensity, shouted, “I'm the best corner in the game. When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree, that is the result you are going to get. Don't you ever talk about me. […] Crabtree. Don't you open your mouth about the best, or I'm going to shut it for you real quick. L-O-B.” The brief interview, captured live on camera, provided a visual drama as arresting as the script and exploded through social media and mainstream news. Through the lens of symbolic convergence theory (SCT) informed by visual rhetoric and critical race theory (CRT), the authors examine news and citizen coverage of the Sherman interview during the week following the incident. Responses to this incident highlight how sexism, racism, and various forms of oppression have predictable patterns including casting groups as the “other” and naturalizing practices of subordination. Further, the authors show how symbols and mediated dramas shape and define social relationships.

Additional Information

Janis Teruggi Page, Margaret Duffy, Cynthia Frisby & Gregory Perreault (2016). Richard Sherman Speaks and Almost Breaks the Internet: Race, Media, and Football, Howard Journal of Communications, 27:3, 270-289, DOI: 10.1080/10646175.2016.1176969. Publisher version of record available at:
Language: English
Date: 2016
critical theory, ethnicity, stereotype/prejudice/bias, race, media

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