Seahawks star Richard Sherman on Donald Trump, Microsoft Surface, power of grit, favorite apps

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Richard Sherman

Richard Sherman doesn’t think much of Donald Trump’s comments about concussions in the NFL.

GeekWire caught up with the Seahawks star after his appearance at an American Express local merchant event Friday in Seattle, just days after the financial giant extended its partnership with the NFL team.

Asked about Trump, who called the NFL’s rules for concussions “soft” on Wednesday during a campaign rally, Sherman initially didn’t have much to say. But given how other players have ripped Trump for the comments — TIME called it “dangerous” — and Sherman’s recent monologue about player health in the NFL, he did have one response.

“He’s as knowledgeable about that as he is about foreign policy,” Sherman said of Trump.

Earlier in the week, Sherman responded to Trump’s comments about “locker room talk,” calling it a “cop out.”

Sherman spoke on a panel Friday at the American Express small business event partly because he’s a co-owner of a new Wingstop restaurant in West Seattle. The 28-year-old, who’s involved in a number of off-the-field activities, said he’s always wanted to be a business owner.

Added Sherman: “I’m about an 8.5 out of 10 for my love of chicken. Teriyaki is the best.”

Sherman talked about where he finds inspiration — both on the football field, and off of it. He pointed to NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson visiting his school years ago in Compton, Calif.

“He just said, ‘don’t let your circumstances dictate your future, always reach for the stars, and don’t let anyone tell you what you can’t do,'” Sherman recalled. “I really took it to heart.”

Sherman’s path to NFL stardom didn’t come easy. From growing up in Compton to rising up the pro football ranks despite not being picked until the fifth round of the 2011 NFL Draft, he’s faced several roadblocks along the way.

Sherman said successful people, whether it be an NFL athlete or an entrepreneur, have all battled adversity in some form or another.

“The thing that separates successful people and failure is how you respond,” he explained. “Do you get up, do you stay down, do you quit, do you walk away, or do you keep fighting? Don’t let anyone blow out your candle — that’s the biggest thing. Sometimes, your candle light will get really low, but you can’t let anyone blow it out. It’s something I always keep in mind during the hard times — you can’t let anyone blow your candle out.”

Having grit is something that Sherman’s former teammate, retired wide receiver Ricardo Lockette, talked about at the GeekWire Summit earlier this month. I asked Sherman about grit, and why it can be so powerful during the tough times.

He first described growing up and being one of the worst players on his youth teams. But that didn’t stop his drive to become better — and eventually become of one of the best football players in the world.

“It’s just those moments in time where you can quit, when things get really difficult and almost impossible — but you don’t quit,” he said. “Those are gritty people. You never want to get in a fight with someone who’s gritty, because when they get hit and they taste blood, it’s not over.

“You just don’t quit,” he continued. “It’s never over; it’s never impossible. You have to treat the two impossible’s — success and failure — the same. Neither one of them is fatal; neither one of them is final. You got to continue to move on.”

Sherman also answered a few tech-related questions. Asked about using the Microsoft Surface tablet on the sidelines for the past three seasons to review past plays — versus using black-and-white paper printouts — Sherman said the technology hasn’t really changed much, strategically-speaking. But he said watching video on the tablets, which the NFL has been testing during the preseason, is different.

“That was pretty cool, actually,” he said.

His favorite apps right now, “for everybody that’s not a geek,” are Twitter and Instagram. But for “my Pokémon nerds, Pokémon Go.”

Asked about how technology can help improve sports-related performance, Sherman said there’s a limit.

“You’re not going to tech your way out of a dogfight,” he said. “You’re not going to be able to say, these numbers say he’s going to be better and the will of one player will break the other — you can’t measure that.”



Taylor Soper | | October 16, 2016