Crony Capitalism

Seattle Seahawks' Richard Sherman Doesn't Want the Public to Fund Stadiums

Star cornerback and Stanford grad says "make the billionaires who actually benefit from the stadiums pay for them."


Richard Sherman for President
Aric Becker / Icon Sportswire / Newscom

Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman is known for his lightning speed, ferocious defense, and the occasional inspired postgame rant against his rivals. He's also a Stanford graduate, with a reported 3.9 GPA, and has been called "the most interesting man in football."

And yet, it was the plain common sense he displayed in a radio interview with ESPN's John Clayton this past Tuesday that brought Sherman during the NFL's offseason. When Clayton asked Sherman what he would do if he were president, the Pro Bowler replied:

I'd stop spending billions of taxpayer dollars on stadiums and probably get us out of debt and maybe make the billionaires who actually benefit from the stadiums pay for them. That kind of seems like a system that would work for me.

As Deadspin notes, Seahawks owner Paul Allen (#40 on Forbes' list of richest people worldwide) finagled $300 million in public financing to build his home stadium CenturyLink Field. And as ThinkProgress reports, "According to an analysis from the Public/Private Partnerships for Major League Sports Facilities, $12 billion in public funds were used for 51 new sports facilities between 2001 and 2010." Given the report is five and a half years out of date, that $12 billion figure is surely a major undercount. 

Regardless, it's great to see a respected high profile player calling out this dumb and destructive system of jock-sniffing politicians handing over taxpayer funds for billionaires' vanity projects. 

For more on this truly egregious form of crony capitalism, go here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

And watch Reason TV's doc on Hartford's misbegotten minor league baseball stadium fiasco below:

NEXT: Gary Johnson, Bill Weld on Colbert: Always "coming down on the side of choice"

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  1. “the most interesting man in football.”

    Not in a world that contains John Urschel and Justin Tucker.

    1. I knew I liked you Renegade.

      1. If only you were cute and female. Sigh.

    2. Fuck your illegitimate piece of shit stolen team. Fuck Art Modell.

      1. St. Art is amused by your butthurt.

    3. Does Tim Tebow still count?

      1. Only to 10.

      2. Since he’s not actually in football, I’m gonna have to go with no.

  2. I’ve had a soft spot in my heart for this guy ever since he dropped that epic “U Mad Bro?” on whiny, sore loser bitch Tom Brady.

  3. Based on the little I know about him I like Richard Sherman but he is woefully ignorant if he thinks a) the President has much say over stadium construction and subsidization and b) he isn’t benefiting just like Paul Allen and his ilk.

    1. a) he is woefully ignorant if he thinks the President has much say over stadium construction

      Or he’s very observant. – how many other things that the president ‘can’t do’, has a president done in recent memory? Now he might be wrong in thinking a president *should* intervene in local politics, but it doesn’t make him ignorant.

      b) he is woefully ignorant if he thinks…he isn’t benefiting just like Paul Allen and his ilk.

      Or maybe he’s entirely aware and nevertheless thinks its wrong, and a bad way to go about things in the long run- his own interests aside?

      its cynical for someone to suggest that simply because the status quo benefits a market participant, that they can’t still think its ‘wrong’. I know many people in the financial services industry who bemoan legal interventions which in fact directly benefited them… and countless similar examples. You might say that the only correct moral instinct should be to refuse to participate, but that’s naive at best.

      1. I work in the glamorous title services industry. In the aftermath of Dodd Frank many small title shops had to shut down because new regulations regarding companies that work with banks and how banks interact with companies with whom they work forced them to close. My company was large enough to meet all of the regulatory requirements and already had a lot of business with a number of large banks, so we actually benefitted from Dodd Frank. The owner of my company still thought it was a stupid law.

  4. here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

    hear! hear!

  5. “”” home stadium CenturyLink Field”””

    I thought if you give big money to these stadiums you get naming rights, so why isn’t this called Taxpayer Money Pit Field?

    1. Taxpayer Money Pit Field?

      Oh man, if I was sitting on a big enough pile of cash to buy the naming rights to a stadium, I’d totally do that. Sports Authority Field’s naming rights are up for grabs…

  6. The only franchise in the NFL – possibly in Pro-sports in North America – that has a reasonable relationship with its host town is Green Bay. And the NFL is on record as never wanting to allow anything like that again.

    1. GO PACK GO!!! Five of us in my family are GB Packers ‘Shareholders’ a.k.a. *voluntary* donors to stadium development/improvement.

  7. Sherman got a raw deal in that interview where he was first introduced to the public. He didn’t say any forbidden words, didn’t allude to anything obscene or violent, and was overall pretty typical of the modern athlete except that he had a mic thrown in his face just seconds after executing a game-winning play.

    The NFL, mainstream media, and especially social media came down on him for doing something so mundane that it is both commonplace and accepted in US pro sports (verbal chest-thumping and trash talking).

    His being singled out for doing something everyone does was an actual, true life, case of racism. The disgusted reaction was itself disgusting.

    1. the look on the face of the ‘field interview girl’ was priceless.

      she’s thinking “i wanted a career in broadcasting, but i really don’t want this”

      1. You don’t know Erin Andrews?

        1. is that who that is?

          She doesn’t seem in that moment to be thrilled with her career choice. Which isn’t a dig against her. I found screaming manly-bluster annoying when i played team-sports.

    2. *facepalm*

    3. Boo hoo dude. Enough of the racism bullsh*t already. With the exception of racial profiling by cops, black people do not have it rough in America. There woes are of their own doing because the opportunity is there for a lot of free sh*t and actual advantage simply because they are black if they are smart enough to capitalize.

      1. Boo hoo dude.

        Chill out, my brother. Did I say he deserved a check? Did I say he deserved an official apology from White America or 75% of the morons on sports radio? Did I say that we should re-name 90% of the MLK jr. Blvd.s in America into “Richard Sherman Gentleman & Savior Way”?

        No. No I did not. The truth is he got a shit-show FOR DOING THE EXACT SAME THING THAT IS DONE AND EXPECTED BY ALL US PRO-ATHLETES. He got fined cash money for giving this interview. It was ugly–not his comments but the reaction of the vast majority of people who watch NFL Conference Championship football.

        He was treated differently because he had dreadlocks and was on an adrenaline rush. Pure bullshit and, in this instance, of the racist variety. Every suit-wearing staff member of the PR-obsessed NFL, every single employee of their corporate headquarters, must kill themselves. Only then will there be even a scintilla of approximate justice in the universe.

    4. commonplace and accepted in US pro sports (verbal chest-thumping and trash talking).

      I dunno who this guy is or what specifically he did but I hate that shit and I don’t care who’s doing it. It’s also “commonplace and accepted” in pro sports to groom like a retard and draw all over yourself but that doesn’t stop me from ridiculing it either.

      1. – fist bump

        I agree that the “c’est normale” excuse/argument is inherently stupid.

        That’s the retort i got once from some “i just moved to NYC 5 minutes ago” kid who was walking down the subway platform texting and walked right into me. I said, “look where you’re going during rush-hour at least”‘; and they suggested “ppppt!…but everyone does it!”

      2. I too don’t much care for assholes.

      3. Exactly. Why is it racist to ridicule someone for behaving like a savage?
        He is great football player and I’m sure he was a stellar student athlete. He probably went to all of his classes and got A’s in physics and mechanical engineering.

        When I made a great play, I might have danced around and acted stupid too but I did not scare the crap out of people. That reporter was genuinely frightened. It was priceless.

        I hope, if sherman is the genius he is supposed to be, that he did that on purpose because he probably made a couple million with that rant.

        1. Of course he did it on purpose. It’s a lot easier to make money as a heel than as a babyface.

        2. Communications major.

          1. Oh right. Does that make him a bullsh*t artist?

          2. lol.

            that’s so mean.

            “But he got a 3.9!!! a 3 point fucking 9!!”

            uh, yeah, but he was taking the football-player courses.

        3. Dude, this interview was done seconds (considerably less than five minutes) after he had a game-saving play, a massive professional accomplishment and easily the highlight of his young career. As a cornerback, he’s sprinting on every play and banging bodies with large aggressive muscular dudes many, many times in a game. So he’s hopped up on adrenaline…I don’t think there’s any other way to play that position in the NFL.

          So now you want to change years-ingrained cultural norms–going back at least to Muhammed Ali (pbuh)–in the 5 minutes after the NFL Conference Championships? This kind of CalvinBall is some Nancy Pelosi bullshit. Some Barack Obama bullshit. I can change the rules wherever, whenever, on a whim. Proggie bullshit.

          It’s also my strong intuition that Sherman cost himself money with that rant, which is evidence that it was spontaneous rather than premeditated. Where he lived in relative obscurity before now he’s “scary sounding Black thug.” That’s not how you earn dat Michael Jordan $$$. (Jordan was an incorrigible shit-talker, BTW, and an awful person. But he smiled real nice when it was time to sell sneakers and underwear.)

          1. Whatever. You think acting like a freaking drama queen for the camera is professional? Maybe its just a different conception of sportsmanship.

            Back in the 1990s when i was a teen, the whole “end zone dancing” was much debated as whether it should be restrained/penalized.

            Now people would consider it abnormal if they *didn’t*, and act like it was some very-odd character feature if someone decided to just play the game sans self-aggrandizement.

            Mohammed Ali aside, its not at all ‘years of culturally ingrained norms’. People haven’t talked like that forever, and there’s nothing wrong thinking that maybe people tone their shit down and act like professional athletes rather than pro-wrestlers.

            I honestly don’t care all that much despite this. The only thing i think is stupid (as per the above) is someone arguing something is “Okay” because “its normal”. Its basically “everyone does it” as an excuse for any kind of idiotic behavior.

      4. I dunno who this guy is or what specifically he did but I hate that shit and I don’t care who’s doing it.

        I kinda like it when a Sherman runs mouthy-motor, because it makes their off days – cue confused Sherman in MN’s backfield, bumbling Sherman vs. Panthers, pouty Sherman getting Superbowl-schlonged by Shady – all the sweeter.

        1. They got schlonged by the own head coach, who picked a bad time to have perhaps the most epic play calling brain fart in football history.

  8. Brand new stadiums in place of existing good ones bring millions of dollars to the local economy.
    Of course provable because bureaucrat say so.

    govment make jobs, 10 people get work, poor neighborhood demolished, poor people cheer for the team they are told to cheer for. All is well right?

  9. Richard Sherman, Voice of reason.

    As a Denver libertarian this causes me great internal strife.

    1. Yo, I heard that Gay Jay is officiating this year’s Cannabis Edibles Competitive Eating and Wet T-shirt contest; this is true, yes?

  10. Go Hawks!
    This guy is a brilliant corner and the LOB is back. He got a bum deal with the hype about the rant following the NFC championship a few years back. Sherm is approaching Kenny Easley as far as my favorite Hawks defender of all time.

    1. He did not get a bum deal already! He made serious cash because of it.

      In America, we celebrate morons and whores.

      1. Sherm is a repeat all pro with a degree from Stanford, with honors. He made his bank by being a lock down corner who, for a time, caused opposing offences to use only half the field (merit!). His rant was unfortunate because he emoted, 15 seconds after making the play that sent his team to the SB, when someone shoved a mic in his face. I call it unfortunate because most people then have the impression that he is one of your celebrated “morons or whores”, despite much evidence to the contrary.

        1. he may be very talented. he may be very bright. But as a 49ers fan, all that comes to mind is fuck the seahawks.

  11. He’s also a Stanford graduate, with a reported 3.9 GPA

    I’d have to know what his major was before I’m too impressed by that.

    He’s right about this specific issue, though. The owners should finance their damned stadiums.

    Although just cutting out the public financing of stadiums isn’t going to balance the budget. Also, the vast majority of that public money comes from the state or local level, so there’s not much the president can do about it. Unless you want to just throw what’s left of the concept of federalism out the window.

  12. That is going to get Sherman the stinkeye from ESPN. One of their favorite things is shilling for new stadiums on the behalf of the sports leagues they cover.

  13. That’s amazing! Where did Sherman get that idea? I know it wasn’t from his public-financed college courses, or his NFL owners, or MSM. I’m impressed. I hope he’s thinking about a political career after football.

  14. I have never been to a sports stadium. I really couldn’t care less about sports. Yet money has been forced from me to pay for sports stadiums…and some of the athletes make obscenely huge amounts of money. Why not pay them less and let the people who own the teams, and the fans who go to the games, pay for the sports stadiums? Can we say “welfare for the rich?”

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