Seahawks’ Richard Sherman Explains What Exactly He Was Thinking in Postgame Interview and What’s Happened Since

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Jan. 20 2014 1:09 PM

Seahawks’ Richard Sherman Explains What Exactly He Was Thinking in Postgame Interview and What’s Happened Since

464062985-cornerback-richard-sherman-of-the-seattle-seahawks
Cornerback Richard Sherman reacts on the sideline after tipping a pass which led to a Seahawks game-clinching interception late in the fourth quarter.

Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

The Seattle Seahawks are going to the Super Bowl. And, if you watched the dramatic end to Sunday night’s slugfest with San Francisco, you know that Richard Sherman’s game-saving tip of Colin Kaepernick’s end zone pass has a lot to do with that. It was a career-defining moment for Sherman, but it was the Seahawks’ cornerback’s reaction after the play that has created the biggest stir. 

After the game-winning play, Sherman celebrated to be sure, and then jawed with the intended receiver on the play, Michael Crabtree, for which he was hit with a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Sherman skipped from the field making what appeared to be a choking gesture. Then, in what appears to be the most controversial play of the day, Sherman went on a tirade during a postgame interview with Erin Andrews. Here’s the interview, in case you missed it.

Advertisement

The, shall we say, less-than-diplomatic rant doesn’t exactly comport with generally accepted rules of sportsmanship and set off a firestorm on Monday. Whether Sherman’s comments were unseemly or just exuberant seems to have split public opinion. The public response to his interview has also raised questions implicating race. Sherman says he’s been the target of racial slurs and bullying in the aftermath.

The Internet pot was sufficiently stirred to the point that Richard Sherman himself weighed in, responding to the criticism of his postgame behavior at SI.com. “Near midnight I still had about 70 unread text messages from friends and family, most of which read, ‘Best interview ever!’ Many of my Twitter mentions were less supportive. My body ached. I was thrilled and proud and upset, all at once. Here’s what happened …” Sherman writes.

Here’s how he describes the game’s waning moments and his postgame comments.

I ran over to Crabtree to shake his hand but he ignored me. I patted him, stuck out my hand and said, “Good game, good game.” That’s when he shoved my face, and that’s when I went off. I threw a choking sign at 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Why? 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. Erin Andrews interviewed me after the game and I yelled what was obvious: If you put a subpar player across from a great one, most of the time you’re going to get one result….A lot of what I said to Andrews was adrenaline talking, and some of that was Crabtree. I just don’t like him…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. But people find it easy to take shots on Twitter, and to use racial slurs and bullying language far worse than what you’ll see from me. It’s sad and somewhat unbelievable to me that the world is still this way, but it is. I can handle it.

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

Foreigners

More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

What Charles Barkley Gets Wrong About Corporal Punishment and Black Culture

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows

Why Do Some People See the Virgin Mary in Grilled Cheese?

The science that explains the human need to find meaning in coincidences.

Jurisprudence

Happy Constitution Day!

Too bad it’s almost certainly unconstitutional.

Is It Worth Paying Full Price for the iPhone 6 to Keep Your Unlimited Data Plan? We Crunch the Numbers.

What to Do if You Literally Get a Bug in Your Ear

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 16 2014 7:03 PM Kansas Secretary of State Loses Battle to Protect Senator From Tough Race
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 16 2014 4:16 PM The iPhone 6 Marks a Fresh Chance for Wireless Carriers to Kill Your Unlimited Data
  Life
The Eye
Sept. 16 2014 12:20 PM These Outdoor Cat Shelters Have More Style Than the Average Home
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 15 2014 3:31 PM My Year As an Abortion Doula
  Slate Plus
Slate Plus Video
Sept. 16 2014 2:06 PM A Farewell From Emily Bazelon The former senior editor talks about her very first Slate pitch and says goodbye to the magazine.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 16 2014 8:43 PM This 17-Minute Tribute to David Fincher Is the Perfect Preparation for Gone Girl
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 16 2014 6:40 PM This iPhone 6 Feature Will Change Weather Forecasting
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 16 2014 11:46 PM The Scariest Campfire Story More horrifying than bears, snakes, or hook-handed killers.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.