Bieber vs. Sherman | Misadventures of Race in American Media

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Patrice Ellerbe, Staff WriterLast Modified: 19:09 p.m. DST, 26 January 2014

Cornerback Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks, taken Houston Texans 2013, Photo by Bill Hunter

MIAMI, Florida - Thursday morning, globally recognized teen pop star, Justin Bieber was arrested in Miami, Florida, stated CNN. According to police reports, Beiber was charged with driving under the influence, drag racing, and resisting arrest. Since the arrest, the media has labeled Bieber as a “misguided” teen.

Last week after a football game between the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers, the media threw out mixed feelings regarding statements made between Seahawks' cornerback, Richard Sherman and 49ers' receiver, Michael Crabtree.

According to reports, Sherman successfully completed the “play of the season.” Sherman tipped off a pass intended for Crabtree, allowing his team mate to intercept the ball, and sending the Seahawks to this year’s Super Bowl. After being overjoyed from the play, Sherman attempts to shake Crabtree’s hand, but Crabtree pushes him away by his face mask. Whether Sherman was being sincere or passive aggressive is up to the viewer, however, it doesn’t stop there.

During an interview after the game, Sherman stated “I’m the best cornerback in the game. When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree, that’s the result you going to get,” says ESPN.

Only days later, Bieber was arrested for his reckless behavior in Miami. Reports read that Bieber was simply a misguided teen, but when it came to Sherman, he was labeled a “thug.” Facts show Sherman, who is an All-Pro cornerback, graduated from Stanford with a 3.9 GPA. He has no criminal record, but simply called himself the best at what he does professionally.

Bieber is an international pop star, who did not graduate from high school. He has been caught in malicious acts and is constantly in the news. Bieber was arrested for a DUI, despite the fact that he is not of legal drinking age, plus he resisted arrest.

Society wants to throw out modern racism, but when situations like these surface, we are still able to see where it exists. Sherman, who is African-American did not deserve to be called a thug. It tarnished his professionalism, and diminished him as a man and an athlete. Although, Bieber's treatment by the media hasn't been positive either, being labeled as a “misguided kid” leaves room for improvement and does not alter the perception of the public that he was just being 'mischievous' versus criminal.

By contrast, Sherman, who has not perpetrated any crime, and was simply participating in his profession and leading his team to the Super Bowl, is labeled a thug. Most thugs typically have some criminal record. Sherman does not have a criminal record, but Bieber does. Most thugs also neglect to finish school, which Bieber has also done. The labels accorded by the media to these two are misleading, and thus illustrate the further misadventures of race in American media.

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