Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman says he’s not a villain, but he does have beef with San Francisco 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree.
The outspoken trash-talker enraged San Francisco 49ers supporters after his team’s 23-17 playoff win on Sunday with a rant calling out Crabtree and proclaiming, “I’m the best corner in the game!” On Monday, the former Stanford player turned to his occasional column on Sports Illustrated’s MMQB blog to explain his theatrical antics that have won him praise and scorn across social media.
“It was loud, it was in the moment, and it was just a small part of the person I am. I don’t want to be a villain, because I’m not a villainous person,” he writes. “To those who would call me a thug or worse because I show passion on a football field — don’t judge a person’s character by what they do between the lines. Judge a man by what he does off the field, what he does for his community, what he does for his family.”
Sherman had just guaranteed a spot for his team in the Super Bowl by tipping a would-be, last-minute touchdown pass to Crabtree into the hands of teammate Malcolm Smith. Afterward, he approached Crabtree with his hand extended but was rebuffed with a penalty-inducing hand to the helmet. He also directed a “choke” sign at San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick, minutes before giving the screaming interview to Fox’s Erin Andrews.
Sherman claims he was approaching Crabtree to say “good game” when the receiver shoved him. “That’s when I went off,” he writes. Apparently the players have quite a history:
It goes back to something he said to me this off-season in Arizona, but you’d have to ask him about that. A lot of what I said to Andrews was adrenaline talking, and some of that was Crabtree. I just don’t like him.
As for why he made a choke gesture at Kaepernick:
Because he decided he was going to try the guy he was avoiding all game, because, I don’t know, he’s probably not paying attention for the game-winning play. C’mon, you’re better than that.
And here’s the postgame interview:
Seahawks fans cheer so loudly, it registers as an earthquake: