NFL player to visit campus

By Zach Dillender

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Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman is coming to campus on Wednesday to speak about stereotypes and how he has attempted to overcome them.

The event will include a moderated conversation with Sherman, as well as a Q&A session. Tickets are free for UK students, faculty and staff with a valid UK ID and $10 for the general public.

These became available for pick-up or purchase on March 25 for students at the Singletary Center Ticket Office.

The doors will open at 7:15 p.m. on Wednesday.

Sherman is a Super Bowl champion and part of the Seahawks team that won in 2014 and returned in 2015 for back-to-back seasons.

Since entering the NFL, he has led the league in interceptions with 24. Some might also recognize Sherman from last year’s “Madden NFL 15” video game cover.

The premise of the talk, according to the Student Activities Board’s website, is overcoming stereotypes on and off the field. Despite his successes on the gridiron, Sherman has the reputation of a “thug” to some, according to the SAB website.

Sherman grew up in Compton, California. He was the first graduate from Dominquez High School in 20 years to receive a scholarship from Stanford University. He had offers from other schools, including the University of Southern California, but decided on Stanford to make a statement about the importance of education. Sherman attended with academic and athletic merit.

James Collard, the SAB Director of Engaging Issues, helped bring Sherman to campus.

“Sherman offers outlooks into growing up in a difficult situation, balancing college athletics and schoolwork at Stanford University, constantly motivating oneself to get better, moving on from big wins and losses, and supporting the education of underprivileged youth, which is the focus of his charity, Blanket Coverage,” Collard wrote in an email to the Kentucky Kernel.

Collard said these issues are similar to ones faced on campus.

“This insight is especially significant for our campus right now with the recent prevalence of racism and stereotypes on college campuses, including the Oklahoma SAE racist chants as well as hateful actions surrounding the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement on our own campus,” Collard wrote.

SAB brought Richard Sherman in as a part of their SpeakBlue Distinguished Speaker Series.

“This event is one of our larger ones of the year so it’s a full board effort,” Collard wrote in the email. “I can’t explain how much support it has taken from every board member as well as the board’s advisors.”