At his Media Day press conference, Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman was asked about being compared to legendary heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali.
Sherman’s answer reflected a knowledge of Ali’s place in sports and society.
“It’s very humbling,” Sherman said. “It’s very humbling to be compared to Muhammad Ali because of all of the serious ridicule that he went through, the serious racial degradation and stigmas that he had to fight, the stereotypes that he had to fight against.
“He had to really stand his ground and almost go to jail because he wanted to stand up for what he believed in. So I think his situation was a lot more brave and a lot more serious than my situation is now, obviously, and he had to deal with a lot more scrutiny and just headache and criticism.
“It’s a blessing, because he’s one of my biggest idols, and a person that I really looked up to.”