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The Real Thug Life

Richard Sherman During the last few weeks, the term “thug” has been used pretty frequently. It was used for cornerback Richard Sherman after his passionate interview after his Seahawks defeated the 49ers for the NFC title. The term was used after the Marcus Smart incident where the Oklahoma point guard shoved a fan. It seems like this term is used just as freely as any word in the English dictionary. Black people on the football field and in life are being called “thugs” a lot these days for the way they act, dress or conduct themselves. It’s alarming that this word has replaced the N word as the new name to call Black people when they do something that is frowned upon by members of society. But what I wonder is if anyone using the word “thug” even knows what it means or better yet, where the term came from. If they did, then maybe they would reconsider calling Black kids “thugs”.

The original thugs
Around 1356, a group of Indian people named Thugs were first introduced in the world. They were described using the word Thuggee, which is a Hindu word for “thief”. The Thugs came about from banned members of from society that banded together to make a fraternity of thieves and killers. Although they came around in the 1350’s reportedly, the thugs really became strong around the 1800’s in India. These Indian people would join travelers and gain their confidence, only to strangle or tie a noose around the neck of the people they befriended. They would rob the victims as well as bury their bodies after robbing them. The Thugs would continue to do this until the 1830s when the British came in and eventually subdued them. The Thugs were reported to be responsible for at least 2 million killings over their entire existence. In essence, they terrorized India and had the country living in fear.

The real Thugs in India were on a whole higher level than what people consider “thugs” in today’s society. In fact, there should be absolutely no way the so-called “thugs” of today compare to these people. The Thugs in India were ruthless. They would smile in your face only to kill and rob you later. The only thing Richard Sherman did was be loud and emotional after playing a great game. And as far as Marcus Smart, he may have lost his cool at the wrong time, but he is in no way a thug. In fact, I believe the original thugs would laugh at the thought of these two and others that have even been called the term they put on the map.

Maybe the next time people will examine the words they use when calling people things. And for all those that like to call people thugs, maybe they should take a look at the history of the word and think long and hard before calling someone that term again. Smart, Sherman, and many other athletes that have been called thugs are not thugs at all. The real thug life happened in India. Read up on your history people.

For more sports conversations, follow me on Twitter @General_MP or come check me out at my Facebook page Mike Patton-The General .


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5 thoughts on “The Real Thug Life

  1. Great article and research was in point. Hopefully this reaches a lot of people eyes.

  2. I think that anyone who called either of these young men “thugs” was dead wrong. I also don’t think the term thug is or has been used to describe just “black” people. While it is true that the definition started just as you said it also means a ruffian or a rough as well. I don’t know about you, but I have met people of several colors who would meet that definition……….

  3. I am not sure you read my first comment? Anyone who called the two young men thugs we wrong. The excitement of the moment is what got Sherman and I am not sure that I would have reacted any different in the case Oklahoma St’s Smart.

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