The magazine's annual list hits newsstands Friday, but hit the Internet late Wednesday. Included among Time's list of influential "pioneers" is Sherman, who burst into the national consciousness Jan. 19 with his impassioned postgame interview after his tipped pass sent the Seahawks to Super Bowl XLVIII.
Here's what Time's Sean Gregory wrote about Sherman:
Sherman's rant solidified his reputation as one of the brashest and most candid players in the buttoned-up NFL. More important, it sparked a national conversation about race, stereotyping and sportsmanship. When critics labeled the dreadlocked defensive star a "thug," Sherman, a Compton, Calif.-raised Stanford graduate, engaged the debate, asking if the term was today's way of calling him the N word? In a heartbeat, Sherman altered the discourse and emerged as the smartest voice in the room.Sherman's inclusion in the Time 100 list comes as a bit of a surprise, but perhaps it shouldn't.
At a time when most pro athletes flee social questions, Sherman tackles them head on. And he backs it up on the field too, leading the Seahawks to their first Super Bowl win. So keep talking, Sherm. We have much more to learn.
The 26-year-old has been vocal about race relations in the U.S. since that fateful interview after the NFC Championship Game in Seattle, and has written about the topic in his occasional column for Sports Illustrated's Monday Morning Quarterback site. He is also opposed to the NFL's proposed ban of the N-word on the football field.
On Wednesday, Sherman headlined a panel of black football players who spoke about race at Harvard University, where they drew standing-room crowds. As The Associated Press reported from Cambridge, Mass.:
Sherman said he thought "thug" was just a more acceptable way of slurring black people; he's never heard it used for whites or Asians, he said.Sherman is not the only Seattle notable on Time's 100 list this year. Also included is Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, whose company continues to revolutionize the retail sector.
"If you call Richard Sherman a thug, you have never seen a thug," (Houston running back Arian) Foster told the business school students, drawing a big laugh. "It just blew my entire mind."
But the way Sherman handled it helped advance the understanding of black athletes, Foster said.
"To have those discussions at Super Bowl media (day), that's huge," he said.
Here's what venture capitalist Peter Thiel wrote about Bezos for Time:
Twenty years ago Jeff Bezos left a lucrative job in finance to drive across the country and start his own business. He went on a wild ride: from original hero of Internet commerce to poster child of dotcom hype to a second act on par with Steve Jobs' return to Apple.Check out who else is on Time's new list of the 100 most influential people in the world >>
Amazon is still the greatest tech story of the 1990s; it's also one of a few contemporaries still run by its founder. Nobody else reinvests almost every cent of profit in growth, as Bezos still does. Amazon is immensely valuable today, and almost all of its value comes from the future. The journey ahead for Jeff Bezos is just as great now as when he first set out in 1994.