Justin Bieber appeared briefly in front of Judge Joseph Farina, via video, at Miami-Dade Circuit Court in Florida, Ja. 23, 2014.
Walter Michot/Miami Herald/Getty

The double standard over Bieber, Sherman

Updated

Calling Justin Bieber a thug does not make the racial insults hurled at Richard Sherman any more palatable, so let’s stop with that half-hearted campaign.

Yes, we have work to do with racism in this country and there are very real and clear disparities in how people of different races are portrayed in the media and handled in the justice system.

But under no circumstances is Bieber a thug. He’s a 19-year-old singer who got popped for a DUI while allegedly drag racing and is accused of egging a neighbor’s house. No thug in the history of thuggery ever egged anyone’s home. Sure, he was filmed urinating in a restaurant’s mop bucket, got into a physical altercation with a DJ over song selection, had his home raided by police last week (part of the egging investigation) and has a bevy of friends with “Lil” in their names, but that makes him seem more like an entitled brat who wants a tough guy image, not a thug.

Sherman is a talented, 25-year-old, Compton-raised, Stanford-educated, trash-talking NFL cornerback who is going to the Super Bowl.  He’s no thug either. His amped on-field interview after winning the NFC championship game generated an onslaught of racist bile via social media and “thug” was a frequent word used to describe him.  In a press conference a few days after, Sherman acknowledged that his boastful tirade might have been immature, but maintained that calling him a thug was the more politically correct version of calling him the n-word.

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The double standard over Bieber, Sherman

Updated