He's Angry. He's Loud. He's Ranting. And So What? SO. WHAT.

In January 2014, one Stanford-educated football player found his words dissed and dismissed because people felt he sounded too angry. And those people used one very specific word to describe his display of emotion. In the video below, one young man comes to the defense of the athlete — by using poetry. Like the athlete, the poet sounds angry. But once you listen to his words, you'll realize it's anger with a purpose.

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Speaker: For Richard Sherman, there is nothing special about our survival; We're from the playground, where the best offense is a better mouth. Sports was the only time black people were allowed to practice their own wizardry. For example a football game at 4th quarter, any quarter, defense. If I'm covering the wide receiver and I tell him 'you ain't shit' it isn't for the wide receiver per say. It's in the hope that the gust of wind and shit alters his route. They'll only love you when you're no longer able to prove them wrong. What else can they do with a black athlete whose grades rise higher than his vertical?

Once you fumbled your words they rushed you to monkey, to ESPN, into the biggest selling jersey, and then they rushed into apologizing for being yourself. But here's the greatest trick: the black kid's life always comes back to football, how every time my block saw cops they called them 'pig skin'. When my friend was arrested on attempted robbery me and my homies coddles over our phones over updates on his trial, hoping that the judge would not sentence him to football numbers. If it's all a game of magic, Sherman, they have plans for you. They want to stir your dreadlocks in a pot and turn them into a dog leash.

They want you to stare at a wall for so long that the next time they do an interview the only only thing they'll have is the walls vocabulary. If you aren't careful they'll take the power away from you, and they'll the tame the fire that got you here, but if one man's trash is another mans treasure are you trash talking or simply a descendant of King Midas with too much gold in your throat? Thug! Thug might not be the accepted way to call someone the 'N' word. Thug might just be the accepted way of acknowledging a magician you can't defeat. We all know the witchcraft of language, how they reduce us to rants, dismiss our truth, and our honesty. I guess Mohammad Ali was a monkey too.

I guess Michael Jordan was one real ass gorilla. I guess strongest spell of white privilege is animal morphing. On the NFL network they ask you "Why do you talk so much?" the same way the wind would ask a mountain why it doesn't move. We don't move. We win six NBA championships, three heavy-weight championships, we hold the number one offense for under eight points, we ask Tom Brady 'you mad bro?', we give Reginella the choke sign in Madison Square Garden and something they've never been able to handle. They want us to police ourselves because we've not only come here to win, but we've come to win loudly.

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Original via Button Poetry, which has a bunch of other amazing spitfire poets on its YouTube channel. And here's a HuffPo article for some context around the time the Internet freaked out about that one infamous post-game interview Richard Sherman gave.

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Posted By:
Andrea Garcia-Vargas

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