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There are few things Richard Sherman places a higher value on than education. The three-time All-Pro corner was named the NFLPA Community MVP for Week 11 for a donation he made to send a Compton, California, football team to nationals.
The Hub City Tarheels are an age 6 and under football team that won its conference championship and was invited to Florida for the National Youth Championship. To get there, organizers posted a GoFundMe to raise $15,000 for expenses including food, travel, board, etc. As of Nov. 22, that goal had been exceeded more than twofold and sat at $30,725, with $5,000 of total coming from Sherman.
Sherman, who grew up in Compton, told KNBR he didn’t know the team personally. He just knew the squad was from Compton and, most importantly, it was a team of scholars.
“I knew they were from the city,” Sherman said. “I knew they were a youth football team and I knew that they had to have a 3.1 GPA to be on team and I supported that and I thought that, you know, any time an organization focuses on academics more than athletics, it’s something I can support.”
On Thursday, Sherman expanded on why he values education so highly.
“I think that the thing about the youth football team that jumped out the most was the 3.1 GPA that they need to be on the team,” Sherman said. “I think when any organization, especially sports, focuses on academics first, I can get behind that. I think academics will take you further than sports will ever take you. And I think at the end of the day, there’s no limit to the amount of information that you can attain as a person and how smart you can get and how much intelligence you can achieve.
“I think at the end of the day, your athletic ability can peak. You can hit a ceiling, how fast or strong or be, how much you’re able to do in a career. But in terms of attaining information, intelligence and the world of academia, I don’t think there’s a limit and, I think, encouraging those kids to get their education and focus on it early is something that I respect a ton.”
That was far from an isolated incident of goodwill. Sherman also donated $20,000 to Tacoma, Washington, public schools to pay for student lunch debt, according to 49ers coordinator of corporate communications Tessa Giammona.
Sherman also donated 20K in October to Tacoma Public Schools to relieve the lunch debt of students receiving free or reduced lunch. For many of those students, lunch may be their only meal of the day. https://t.co/8cX2xOoHIz
— Tessa Giammona (@T_Giammona) November 22, 2019
Through his own charity, Blanket Coverage, The Richard Sherman Family Foundation (which he created to get food and clothing to students in need), donated to the Sumner Food Bank in Sumner, Washington, as well as providing a “truckload” of food and supplies to the Maple Valley Food Bank and Covington Storehouse, both of which were at critically low food levels.
The foundation has food collection events scheduled in Maple Valley on Saturday and in Covington on Sunday, according to its Facebook page.
Sherman, who frequently talks about his love of Christmas, says that while this time of year does encourage that sense of giving back, he tries to take it upon himself to be an empathetic and generous member of society regardless of timing.
“I think that that’s the most important thing,” Sherman said. “I think us as human beings are put here to make the world a better place than when we came, and that’s all I’m trying to do is make an impact where I can, regardless of what my status is in terms of a football player or not being a football player. I think going out there and making an impact is the most important thing I can do.”