Richard Sherman—The DB, Muhammad Ali, and the NFL

by Reverend Reynard N. Blake, Jr.

Sherman just made them see

He revealed the fire in his bones

Introduced us to the “Legion Of Boom”



Richard Sherman—The DB, Muhammad Ali, and the NFL

by Reverend Reynard N. Blake, Jr.


“I shook up the world!”

“There’s not a man alive who can whup me !”

“If you dream of beating me, you’d better wake up and apologize!”

“I’m the greatest!”

Quotes from Cassius Clay

Even more as Muhammad Ali

Reviled then, loved now

Reviled then because he told the truth

Being the best at what he did

Nothing wrong with that

He backed it up


So why can’t Richard Sherman

A stalwart of the Seattle Seahawks

A defensive back extraordinaire

Limitless supply of confidence

Says he’s the best at what he does

Bold and fast

Puts the “swag” in “swagger”


He knows

Offenses get more love than defenses

So, when defenses make great plays

They take the spotlight when they could

As they should

Love or attention for defensive squads

Few and far between

Especially, on TV

Sherman just made them see

He revealed the fire in his bones

Introduced us to the “Legion Of Boom”


Defensive backfield punishing opponents


Isn’t this what the NFL wants?

Fire in the bones

Viciousness in the hits

Controlled mayhem

For 3 hours, at least

Then, the NFL’s Roger GODell

Expects the field hands

“The property of (the NFL…or name a team)”

Those “Type-A Personalities”

Alpha males

Mostly black males

Turn off their fire and aggression

At a moment’s notice

Then, become humble and pleasant

Especially with the white Press


This brings us back to Mr. Sherman

The smart, Stanford-grad Mr. Sherman

Like Ali, bold and brash

So what’s wrong with self-promotion?

Peyton, Brady, and Brees

NFL quarterbacks

They self-promote

They say, “I’m the best at what I do!”

They just don’t say it out loud


$20 million plus/year

And, to boot

The NFL makes them gods

The NFL particularly likes white quarterback gods

Messianic heroes

“Peyton Manning versus Tom Brady”

I thought it was the Broncos versus the Patriots


So, what does the NFL and fans do

With Richard Sherman

Or, any defensive crew

Tell them to play touch football?

Have them say, “Jolly good show, old chum!”

Have them share tea and crumpets after the game?

Or, does America want to see

A reflection of itself on the field:


Intimidating, like Chris Christie

Celebrating thugs like in “The Sopranos”

If yes, then everybody needs to shut up

Shut up, and enjoy the show!


Reverend Reynard N. Blake, Jr., M. S. is an ordained Baptist minister living in East Lansing, Michigan with his wife Karen Kelly-Blake, Ph.D., Research Associate, Center for Ethics and Humanities in the Life Sciences at Michigan State University (MSU). He earned his Master of Science degree in Community Development-Urban Studies from MSU and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the College of Charleston (SC). He has co-authored several articles on faith-based community development and is also a poet and hip-hop cultural analyst whose work have appeared on Black Commentator, Michigan Family Review,, the Online Journal of Urban Youth Culture and Black Agenda Report. He is putting on the final touches on a book of political parody and poetry; no publisher yet.  He would appreciate any input on where and how he can get it published. He can be reached at [email protected] .


Dunno might it be time for


might it be time for blacks to start encouraging a more collaborative style of masculinity,  that works collectively to apply its aggressive instincts in some enterprise which purpose is to empower the Black Collective -- rather than narcissistic black masculinity that revels in its capacity to win for white men and squander some of its best years making white men rich? 

Not seeing anything to get wet over in Sherman's exhibition. I just see another confused hyper emotional black man who doesn't know what and whose interests his power should be used in service to.

Like this guy:





Asking for a beat down

What was wrong with this black man?  Did he see how they beat Rodney King.  How can a black man challenge these people, unless you want to die.  Even if he had made one statement, which would have been enough, then he pushes his luck, standing there screaming at the killers of black men.  Lordy, lordy, give me a break.



The Diversion Continues

Rev Blake Jr wrote :

Even more as Muhammad Ali

Reviled then, loved now

Loved now ?

When Muhammed Ali's number was called in the Draft Allotment he promptly parked his braggadocio changed his name from Cassius Clay to Muhammed Ali professed his following of the Muslim Religion and sucessfully sought a Religious Exemption from Military Service. He would be stripped of his title because of this decision. Ali would succesfully fight the legal system in the US and get his Boxing License reinstated in 1971. And the braggadocio would return. But that's not the end of it ! In the 1980s Ali would enlist his services as a spokesman for the US Miltary in a promotion campaign to encourage the youth of America to enlist in the All Volunteer Military. And the job was an easy one. Back then the country was suffering the Reagan Recession with record high employment. This made youth from economically deprived environments begging for work exceptional vulnerable to the Siren's Song of a roof over their heads, job skill training and a paycheck. To set things right with The Man Ali would become part of campaign to get the youth of America to do what he was to afraid to do 15 years earlier. Ali would eventually be called for his duplicity and turn tail to withdraw from the campaign. But his efforts for the War Machine would not go unrewarded. On October 23, 1983 Ronald Reagan would invade the tiny Island nation of Grenada crushing the New Jewel Movement after Maurice Bishop was assasinated in the hours immediately preceeding the invasion. Muhammed Ali would say nothing about the matter.

The prominent labor leader Sabina Virgo who was the president of the Los Angeles Chapter of AFSCME in the 1990s gave a public lecture in 1994. In that talk Sabina hit the nail on the head when she state that "Capital serves up MASSIVE amounts of entertainment in order to anesthetize the public from the pain its injuries produces". And the NFL is a very big cog in that Anesthetizing Machine. Holding up its players as gods amounts to little more than an exercise in false consciousness. Ennunciating the salary disparities between Black and White players in the NFL while condemning Chris Christie is an easy task, but it is a diversion.

Let's stop glorifying the cogs in this machine and start calling out the Imperialist System. The same Imperialist System that Muhammed Ali ducked in the 60s and served in the 80s. Then our youth will get the message that men like Maurice Bishop are far more deserving of their memory than the guy on the football field, the baseball diamond or in the boxing ring.

Can you provide a link to this info

BSeale, I've never heard that Ali made such a movie for the military. I cannot find a link to any such information. Can you please provide a link.