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Maiocco: Richard Sherman will be defined by life after football

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With his NFL All-Decade career as a cornerback winding down, Richard Sherman has plenty of options for life after football.

He finished No. 2 and was voted as “Most Likely to Succeed” from his class of 420 at Dominquez High School in Compton. He earned a degree in communications from Stanford. He has been among the most outspoken, impactful and recognizable players in professional football.

In traveling to Southern California in 2019 and spending hours with Sherman’s parents and many of his friends in Compton, I heard one thought above all others. As much as everyone was proud of his athletic career, they were most excited about what Sherman had to offer society post-football.

“He realizes there’s a lot more life after football,” said Kevin Sherman, Richard’s father. “He seems to be in preparation for that. He doesn’t know how long that’s going to be, but he’s making preparations.”

His mother added, “He has a lot more to do.”

And, today, let’s not lose sight of that.

Even the greatest of football players have short careers on the field. The important part happens once the helmet finds a permanent place on the mantel.

At 33, under even the best of circumstances, Sherman can be expected to play another couple of years.

As he remained a free agent this offseason, there was much discussion about where he might play this season.

But that should be the last thing on anyone’s mind right now.

What’s important is that Richard Sherman and his family can get through the scary incidents of Tuesday night and Wednesday morning — as well as everything that might have led up to his arrest in the Seattle area on multiple charges.

 

Let’s trust that justice will be served. There must be some accountability. But that’s not for us to discuss here. That will be resolved in time.

All the details have not been revealed. We’ve only heard from law enforcement at this stage. It is likely we will never know everything going on. And, frankly, we don’t need to know.

The 911 call from a person identifying herself as Ashley Sherman, wife of Richard Sherman, was far more than the public was ever entitled to know about this situation.

It was scary. It was chilling. And it could happen to anybody. It just so happened to involve a person with a high profile.

At this point, all that should be expected from the general public is empathy and understanding. That is not too much to ask.

On the surface, Richard Sherman has it all. He is smart, confident and personable. The glimpses we’ve seen of his family life have been seemingly perfect.

But you never know what is going on with a person or within a family.

What authorities have told us is that he entered a blocked-off active construction zone at a freeway off-ramp. He badly damaged his vehicle. He left his black Mercedes SUV and proceeded on foot to the residence of his in-laws in Redmond, Wash.

On the 911 call, he was described as drunk and belligerent in that moment. The dispatcher was told that he threatened to harm himself. The call was distressing on a number of levels, including the troubling information shared and the intolerant tone of the dispatcher.

Sherman, according to authorities, tried to gain entry into his in-law’s house. Raymond Moss, his father-in-law, told investigators Sherman repeatedly rammed his shoulder into the front door, according to a police report obtained by The Associated Press.

According to the report, Moss used pepper spray on Sherman’s face through the partially opened door and armed himself with a handgun in fear for the safety of himself and his family.

When officers arrived, Sherman was described as “amicable” until he was told he would be taken into custody.

A scuffle of some sort ensued, according to authorities. One State Trooper and one Redmond Police officer reportedly sustained minor scrapes.

Neither required medical attention. Sherman was taken to a local hospital for treatment of lacerations on his lower leg and ankle after a police dog was deployed. Then, he was booked into jail.

“These types of arrests occur, sadly, every single night,” Washington State Patrol Captain Ron Mead said. “The fortunate part about this arrest is nobody was seriously injured.”

Yes, that was fortunate. 

As horrible of a night as this was, it could have been so much worse. 

 

Ultimately, this incident will not define Richard Sherman. He has done too much in his life up to this point, and he will have plenty of time in the future to make his mark on the world.

He already overcame tremendous adversity and odds to achieve on the playing field and in the classroom. Where he takes it from here gives him an opportunity to make his biggest impact, yet.

What his mother said a couple of years ago remains unchanged and, perhaps, even more relevant today.

“He has a lot more to do.”

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