By Justin Sink
President Obama said he believed the controversial rant by Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman after winning the NFC championship earlier this month was a bid for attention in the vein of heavyweight fighter Muhammad Ali.
“He’s is obviously a very smart guy, wonderful story that he came up from Compton went to Stanford, has helped other people graduate and go to college from his old school and my sense is he’s taking a page out of Muhammad Ali’s playbook which is, I think he’s said explicitly, this is a good way to get attention,” Obama said in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper.
Analysis of Sherman’s emotional comments at the end of the game have garnered significant attention in the lead up to the Super Bowl, with some commentators blasting his remarks as unsportsmanlike. But others, including Sherman himself, have suggested that criticism of the outspoken cornerback has carried a racial undertone.
Obama shied away from that discussion, saying simply that he suspected Sherman was “going to have a lot more endorsement contracts and I think more jersey sales after that.”
The president said overall, he believed the Super Bowl would be a “great game,” but ultimately decided against picking a winner beforehand.
“I think it’s going to come down to the last play and I think at the end of the day … I’m not going to pick because I don’t want to offend any of the great cities participating,” Obama said.