SEATTLE — We start by putting our spotlight on the images from today in Tacoma. As NFL fans, we need positive reminders like this in a month marred by misconduct around the rest of the league.
Richard Sherman is hardly the first player to host a charity event this summer, but this weekend, launching his ‘Blanket Coverage’ foundation rivaled any other in star quality, turnout and fun. It highlighted the good, which, my most accounts, is what the majority of NFL players represent, but rarely overshadows the negative attention brought about by a few.
Obviously, the Aaron Hernandez murder investigation has stolen the show, but other player arrests and incidents common around this time of year continue to steal the headlines.
And while we still have about three weeks before training camp to hold our collective breaths, tonight at least, we can rest assured that the Seahawks were part of something good.
I’m proud we got requests from all over the country, including the NFL network and Fox Sports One, for footage from Sherman’s game in Tacoma. Then again, with such an impressive lineup of NFL stars helping a charity, what prevented those same networks from sending a reporter? They staked out a house in Massachusetts for a week, but couldn’t sacrifice a reporter to cover a charity game with a blockbuster cast of current players.
Unfortunately, it’s a reality of sensationalism, and at times, we’re all guilty.
Apparently, Richard Sherman and “charity” isn’t as sexy as Richard Sherman and “adderall.” Or Richard Sherman and “giving back” isn’t as sexy as “Twitter wars with Darrelle Revis.”
And it’s not just Sherman. Over the last month, we’ve seen Seahawks coach Pete Carroll hold a big event for “A Better LA,” receiver Golden Tate host a golf tournament and auction for Gilda’s Club of Seattle, Cliff Avril host a free youth clinic as part of a charity weekend in Florida, and a multitude of other Seahawks players, and players from all over the country, take part in giving back.
But the few knuckleheads who smash bottles over their teammates heads, or face arrests for gun possession or suspected DUI dominate the headlines instead.
We know the Seahawks aren’t immune. Their mishaps led to a players-only meeting two months ago – the message? To grow up.
And while it’s their responsibility to stay out of trouble, and their responsibility to stay away from performance enhancing drugs, it’s a blessing when they do reach out and give back to those in need.
We all know Sherman is flashy, but he walks the walk on the field. And it’s just as exciting to see the same commitment off the field as well, coupled with a characteristically outlandish presentation.
We’ll continue to cross our fingers that the Seahawks stay healthy and stay away from trouble.
But we needed a day like today. Everyone who follows the NFL needed a day like today. To remind us that most players really do care.