Note: I haven’t been commenting much on the Seattle Seahawks so far this season. With the year ending injuries to key defensive stars Cliff Avril, Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor, plus the problems with the offensive line and the running game, I have been, more or less, in “wait and see” mode as regards this […]Read the Rest →
Most dedicated Seattle Seahawks fans by now have heard of and likely have read ESPN writer Seth Wickersham’s article published a couple of days ago entitled “Why Richard Sherman Can’t Let Go of Seattle’s Super Bowl Loss”. In case you have not, here is a link to the article so you can read it yourself:
Since its release on May 25th the article has spawned a new round of speculation by sports talk show hosts, NFL talk shows and pundits about just how dysfunctional is the relationship between star cornerback Richard Sherman and Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll. Indeed, using unnamed players, coaches and former Seahawks staff as sources, the article calls into question the chemistry of the entire Seattle Seahawks team. As you know if you read it, the article claims that a schism between Sherman and Carroll has existed unrepaired since the loss to the Patriots on that last second, goal line interception of a Russell Wilson pass in Super Bowl XLIX that cost Seattle a second straight NFL championship. It also claims that many of the players on the Seahawks defense resent the Seattle quarterback, and that, “…he has been a divisive figure almost from the moment he earned the starting job, long before he became the most famous and highest-paid Seahawk. It seems to go beyond the normal jealousy aimed at most star quarterbacks. Teammates privately seem to want him exposed, but ask them why, or on what grounds, and their reasons vary.”
To loyal Seahawks fans Wickersham’s article, if taken at face value and presumed to be true, can only be upsetting. We want our team to again get back to and win the Super Bowl. Reports of division within the team, and controversy and turmoil surrounding it, make that dream appear to be impossible, even before a single play has been run in this new 2017 season. It is difficult enough to win in the NFL when your team is hitting on all cylinders. To now apparently find out that the Hawks are a team sown with discontent is, to say the least, disheartening. What are we, as fans, supposed to think?
I’ll tell you what I think—Wickersham’s article is at best not reliable, and at worst just a couple of degrees short, if that, of total BS. Throughout the article the ESPN reporter states what he says players, coaches and former Seahawks staff supposedly told him about Sherman, Wilson and Carroll; but none except one (former running back coach Sherman Smith, whose comments are mostly benign) are named. Who are these people? Why won’t Wickersham name them? Why won’t they go on the record? Instead of giving us the sources he says stuff like: “According to interviews with numerous current and former Seahawks players, coaches and staffers, few have taken it harder than Richard Sherman. He has told teammates and friends that he believes the Seahawks should have won multiple Super Bowls by now. And with just one trophy and the window closing fast, he has placed responsibility for that failing on the two faces of the franchise: Wilson and Carroll. Sherman, who like Wilson declined comment for this story, thinks Carroll hasn’t held Wilson or many young Seahawks to the defense’s championship standard. He’s been disillusioned not only by that single play more than two years earlier but also by his coach’s and quarterback’s response to it.”
If a guy came up to you at your workplace and said to you, “numerous staff and executives have told me that you’re going to be fired,” would you believe him? Wouldn’t you immediately be inclined to ask who are these “numerous” staff and executives? It is an old trick of the not-too-well-intentioned to use generalities like “everyone,” “people” and “numerous” to spread discontent and upset. For a reporter to do it is, to me, unconscionable. According to the Code of Ethics of the “Society of Professional Journalists”, a journalist should, “Identify sources clearly. The public is entitled to as much information as possible to judge the reliability and motivations of sources.” In granting anonymity he should, “Consider sources’ motives before promising anonymity. Reserve anonymity for sources who may face danger, retribution or other harm, and have information that cannot be obtained elsewhere. Explain why anonymity was granted.”
Wickersham does none of these things. The picture we are presented with based on his article is one of not only a disaffected Richard Sherman, but of a dysfunctional team at odds within itself, and all based on the comments and views of “numerous” and unnamed people. Whatever kernel of truth there may be in Sherman’s difficulties with the Seahawks is obscured by Wickersham’s obvious effort to make more news and controversy out of the situation than is inherently there. Indeed, the two most prominent members of the Seahawks defense, Michael Bennett and Sherman himself, are both critical of the article, stating that, “this article is trash and should be on TMZ. It’s all gossip,”(Bennett) and “It’s just a bunch of nonsense from ‘anonymous’ sources.”(Sherman)
Obviously Sherman and Bennett have dismissed what Seth Wickersham “reports.” My advice to all Seahawks fans, for your own peace of mind, is to do the same. Ignore the efforts of reporters and writers to generate fake news and fake controversy out of the internal difficulties regarding our team. All teams, businesses and groups have negative situations within that they must deal with. We don’t need them made worse, or made to appear worse, by shoddy journalism.
Copyright © 2017
By Mark Arnold
All Rights Reserved
 Quoted from the website of the “Society of Professional Journalists”