I Am Taking Back the Word Thug


The recent brouhaha about Richard Sherman is not important to me. I don’t care what he said after the NFC Championship. I really don’t care. But I do care that he was called a thug. Actually, I don’t care much about that either, but I do understand from SO that some people have made way too much out of Sherman’s statements and erroneously called him a thug.

What I care about is how Sherman is characterizing the use of that word. He’s certainly entitled to fight back when he’s been unfairly ostracized for what he said. But he’s overreacting as well, and trying to change the meaning of a word to something racist, and I’m calling a vigorous bullshit on that. Thug does not mean the n-word. Maybe to some select group out there it might, but I don’t think thug means the n-word to most people. To most it still means someone who is up to no good and often found to be a bully — period.

I resent like hell that I feel pressure to qualify future use of that word. And I’m tired of people in the news co-opting words so they become inflammatory and to use them may immediately brand someone a racist. Who wants to keep up with that? To keep up with what you can and cannot say on every little bitty word so that you do not offend anyone, anywhere at anytime?

To the readers of this blog and anyone who knows me in real life interactions, I am going to use the word thug when I want to use it, and it will not mean the n-word!

And for the record, the autograph thugs were all white guys. Just sayin’.

note: I also understand from SO that Richard Sherman is brilliant intellectually as well as athletically and feel certain he can handle himself through this situation.