To the teacher:
HANDLING OUR TRIGGERS
Post "Aristotle's challenge" below on the board or on chart paper for all to see. Then, ask a volunteer to read it out loud:
Sherman's Interview Moments After the Game
How do you think Sherman is feeling? Why do you say that? Why might he be feeling this way?
- What do you think about how Sherman is expressing himself? Why?
What Actually Happened?
- How do they think Sherman was feeling:
b) during the interview with Matthews
c) in the studio later that night?
- How do you think the way Sherman was feeling affected his behavior that night?
- What was the original trigger for this behavior? What escalated the situation?
- Why do you think he was so much calmer in the interview in the studio?
- How do you think Crabtree was feeling as he watched Sherman bat the ball away?
- How do you think he was feeling next, when Sherman slapped him on the rear, saying good game, good game, and offered him his hand?
- How do you think the way Crabtree was feeling affected his behavior, right after seeing the ball batted away?
Small Group Work or Circle Go Round
- What was their trigger?
- Who was involved?
- Was there anything that escalated the situation?
- What might they have done differently had they been able to remain calm?
- Ask students what he might have done to calm down between the two interviews? Chart their responses.
- Adding to the list, ask students what they do to calm down when they get frustrated or angry? Continue the list.
Closing/ Closing Ceremony
Ask some volunteers to share a take away from today's lesson.
Reacting to a media storm
To the teacher:
On January 19, 2013, the San Francisco 49ers played the Seattle Seahawks in the National Football Conference championship. With a mere 31 seconds left in the game, Richard Sherman, the Seattle Seahawks cornerback, made the winning defensive play against 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree. Moments after the game, Sherman was interviewed. The 15-second tirade that followed turned him into the designated bad guy for Super Bowl XLVIII, which takes place on Sunday February 2. Richard Sherman's team, the Seahawks, will be playing in the Super Bowl, against the Denver Broncos.
In Lesson 1, we looked at triggers and how to handle them. In this lesson (which can be presented either on its own or in addition to Lesson 1), we learn who Richard Sherman is and how he responded to the media onslaught against him in the days since that 15-second rant went viral. Were the charges against him fair? What do students think about the way he handled them? What lessons can we draw from the situation?
Ask students to turn to face a partner and play the following word association game. First determine which student is A and which is B.
A starts the activity by saying "football" to B, eliciting a one word association, the first thing that comes to mind. Immediately afterwards, A says "football" again, eliciting a second association from B. And then A asks a third time, eliciting a third association from B. When done, students switch roles: B now presents A with the word "football" three times, to elicit A's associations.
Ask a few volunteers what some of their associations were. Summarize how football is the most popular sport in the US, a violent and aggressive game, a multibillion-dollar business that provides entertainment to millions. Mention that one of the reasons it's been in the news is that the season ending championship, the Super Bowl, is being played on Sunday, February 2, 2014. The two teams that made it to the finals are the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos.
(Skip this section if you have already done Lesson 1 in the class)
Ask if anyone in your class knows the names Richard Sherman and Michael Crabtree and why they have been in the news.
Elicit and explain that in last week's NFC championship (football) game, with a mere 31 seconds left on the clock, Richard Sherman, the Seattle Seahawks cornerback, made the winning defensive play against 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree.
Moments after the game, Sherman was interviewed by Fox's Erin Andrews. The 15-second rant that he unleashed has turned him into the designated bad guy for Super Bowl XLVIII, which takes place on Sunday, February 2. Sherman's team, the Seahawks, will be playing in the Super Bowl, against the Denver Broncos.
Ask students to watch the video of Fox's Erin Andrew's interview with Richard Sherman right after the NFC Championship game and/or read the description below:
A loud and animated Sherman: "Well, I'm the best corner in the game! When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree that's the result you are going to get! Don't you ever talk about me!"
Andrews: "Who was talking about you?"
Sherman: "Crabtree. Don't open your mouth about the best or I'm going to shut it for you real quick! L-O-B!" (L.O.B. means 'Legion of Boom, Seattle's nickname for its defense.)
Ask students: What are your thoughts and feelings about the clip? What do you think about how Sherman is expressing himself?
YouTube Responses to the Interview
Print out the handout at the bottom of this lesson and cut the quotes into strips.
Ask students: How has the media responded to the video clip of Richard Sherman's interview with reporter Erin Andrews? What have they seen or heard?
Explain that as the video of the interview went viral, many people responded to it - in the media and on the internet, including YouTube. Tell students that they'll each get one of the responses people made to the video on YouTube.
Distribute the slips of paper randomly among your students. Ask students to read out the responses one after the other (using a talking piece if you're in a talking circle).
Next ask students:
- What are your thoughts and feelings about how people responded to the clip?
- Were there any responses that resonated with you more than others? Why?
- What did you learn about Richard Sherman from these responses?
Elicit that several people talked about how there is more to Richard Sherman than football.
In a recent article in the New Yorker magazine, journalist Amy Davidson wrote:
- Based on this information about Richard Sherman how do you feel about the responses on YouTube now?
Sherman himself responded to the outcry in the AP in the following way:
Sherman apologized for taking away the spotlight from some of his teammates' impressive plays during the game. Marshawn Lynch's 109 yards rushing and 40-yard touchdown, Jermaine Kearse's 35-yard touchdown catch on fourth-down and Bobby Wagner's 15 tackles all became secondary to Sherman's words in the interview.
What seemed to bother Sherman the most in the fallout was hearing the word "thug" attached to his name. "The only reason it bothers me is it seems like it's an accepted way of calling someone the N-word nowadays," Sherman said. "It's like everybody else said the N-word and they said thug and they're like, 'that's fine,'" Sherman said. "That's where it kind of takes me aback. It's kind of disappointing because they know. What is the definition of a thug, really?"
In small groups, ask students to talk about what Sherman asserts here:
- How do you feel about what Sherman says about being called a thug?
- What in your opinion is the definition of a thug?
- Do you feel that this then is an accurate description of Richard Sherman?
- Do you agree with Sherman that thug has become a substitute for the N-word?
Bring the class back together.
Will this incident involving Sherman change the way you react the next time a controversy like this erupts in the media or on the internet? If so, how?
"He's living the American dream and you're just envious. He didn't say anything wrong, he just got Seahawks to the superbowl, it was an extremely excited moment, he just had a little more adrenaline going. That's all." Ranjan Lamichha
"No one is going to hype down after a game. Let be real here. Any real football fan loves to see that aggressiveness and competitiveness from their team. This isn't fine dining or a book review. This is a sport for goodness sakes!" SOExclusive Swagtastix
"You can call Richard Sherman many things, but uneducated is not one of them. Geez." kelley walker
"Yawn he had to apologize for that." Upful Soul
"At first glance this is certainly not cool behavior. Well to be truthful it's way out of pocket. But having played football at one time myself, I see the adrenaline pumping and the testosterone fully engaged. Ego is monster. There are lessons from this rant he has yet to experience and will be paying dividends on his head for years to come. Graciousness in winning and in losing is the way of a champion." James Goins
"This is what all this hype was about? I'd be mad to if I am being a good sport and someone pushes me in the face. So Crabtree wanted to be a poor sport, Sherman had every right to act the way he did." Jorge Ramirez
"I finally took the time to watch the infamous post game interview everyone's been talking about. I don't have a problem with it. These guys are amped up. You can't blame him for letting off a little steam. What Sherman said is nothing compared to what goes on during the game on the field. ..." Steve Bredall
"... It was really loud in there, and he probably felt as though needed to compensate in order to be heard. At any rate, I can't believe it's generated so much controversy. He wasn't the model of sportsmanship but I've heard worse.?" kelley walker
"He is an athlete with post-game adrenaline saying he is the best and telling a player who made previous comments about him, that he is the best. What is the big kerfuffle? What does that have to do with being a ‘thug' or any of the other ignorant labels that have been thrown at him, or the racist and hateful comments all over YouTube, Twitter and multiple sites? ... Because it's an African-American athlete that was rushed post-game, was still pumped on the adrenaline that got him through the game ... he didn't have time to get into PR mode ..." Dana R
"The young man from Compton did well, more power to him. The racists come out, and even those who don't actually use racial slurs still cannot back up their so called disgust with reasoned arguments." John Nicholas
"[To call him a] ‘thug' is way to harsh. I agree however, I don't care if he's black, white, green or paisley, there is such a thing as dignity and class, neither which is showcased in this soundbite. That being said, I'm sure Mr. Sherman is basically a good guy and just got a little fired up. I do lament the fact that at times sportsmanship is no longer an important trait in our society." Jonas Landau
Ignore rant. He was just fired up & had to yell because the sound in the stadium was deafening. If he had just finished a round of golf & he was yelling like that I would say he should try anger management, but he's a football player. He will need that confident tude on Superbowl Sunday. If the Broncos win, I hope whoever gets interviewed screams ‘don't you ever talk about me.' Blanche Mitchell
"People complaining about what he is saying should just not watch football, it's not for them." ColtoSillas
"Was this really that big of a deal? I'm not a football fan defending this ... But really, what's the big deal? He was pumped up about the game and whatever this Crabtree guy said, he didn't curse or threaten to kill the guy ... What he did say was pretty tame, heck for all anyone here knows the dispute was set up for the show (this was TV after all)." MasochistMouse
"At first I thought he was being an egotistical thug. But watch his latest interview on CNN. He talks about being asked questions while he is pumped up and "in the zone," and he apologizes for some remarks. He makes a lot of sense and I agree with him. Athletes have to get into their zone to perform. I got new respect for him, even if he does talk a little too openly sometimes. He's no thug." G Monayz
"I can't picture a big white football player getting this much attention for doing the same thing. People would dismiss it as passion for the game. Fox News would probably hype it up." Sk8bow
"For all the ignorant trolls who comment solely on face value, get your facts straightened out ... there is more to Richard Sherman than meets the eye." Niru N
"Ali talked just as much if not more trash than Sherman. If the NFL played with kind and gentle hearts there would be no NFL! The NFL is the most intense and emotional game of all sports. it's all a mental game but not like Wimbledon tennis.. lol." M00nchildblues
"It seems as if people expect Black Athletes and Black people in general for that matter to act like robots. If they don't comply with behaving like a robot they are labeled ‘thug' or ‘ignorant' or what have you. Let the guy be a human being,?" OaklandRaider1983
"Sherman is probably smarter than most football players. He was a Stanford graduate because of football, but he did do well in H.S. classes. His cockiness has nothing to do with that though. It's not even intelligent creative cockiness like Ali or Hector Camacho. It's simple, brute arrogance and so it seems mean spirited. If I were him I would worry I'm gonna get shown up for it." David L
"I'm a Niners fan but Sherman's response was pretty damn funny. Can't let peeps get to you like that regardless if it's on the street or during a game. Crabtree must have really [hit] a soft spot...lol." ThePricelessLegacy
"Love IT!! Intensity, passion, confidence, amped up after a HUGE win...the way the game should be played. Check out the writings of Richard Sherman ... there is a history between Sherman and Crabtree and two almost got into a fight at an event put on by Arizona Cardinals star wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald last year, and that is why there is bad blood between them." Joel Bennecke
"This is why I don't watch football. No class." Dustin Gomez
"In reality, what Richard Sherman did was teach us about ourselves. He taught us that we're still a country that isn't ready for lower-class Americans from neighborhoods like Compton to succeed. We're still a country that can't decipher a person's character. But most of all, he taught us that no matter what you overcome in your life, we're still a country that can't accept someone if they're a little louder, a little prouder, or a little different from the people we surround ourselves with." Freshviews