Seattle Seahawks Cornerback Richard Sherman may hail from Compton, California, but he insists he is not a thug or a gangsta -- despite his thuggish rant in the most talked-about post-NFC title game interview ever.
Most of the country is still buzzing about Sherman's post-game interview with FOX Sports reporter Erin Andrews, in which he disses San Francisco receiver Michael Crabtree for disrespecting him after the game.
"I'm the best corner in the game!," he shouted. "When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree, that's the result you gonna get! Don't you ever talk about me!"
A befuddled Andrews asked, "Who was talking about you?"
"N-- Crabtree!," said Sherman, who caught himself just as he was about to blurt out the N-word on national TV.
In a surprisingly articulate column written by Sherman for Sports Illustrated, the 25-year-old wrote, "It was loud, it was in the moment, and it was just a small part of the person I am."
He added: "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."
Sherman explained what happened in the heady moments after his Seahawks knocked off the favored 49ers to win the NFC Championship 23-17 in Sunday night's game.
"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," Sherman wrote.
As far as Crabtree being a top-20 NFL receiver, you’d have a hard time making that argument to me. There are a lot of receivers playing good ball out there, and Josh Gordon needed 14 games to produce almost double what Crabtree can do in a full season. And Gordon had Brandon Weeden, Brian Hoyer and Jason Campbell playing quarterback.
But that’s not why I don’t like the man. It goes back to something he said to me this offseason 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.
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. When I say I’m the best cornerback in football, it’s with a caveat: There isn’t a great defensive backfield in the NFL that doesn’t have a great front seven.
Everything begins with pressure up front, and that’s what we get from our pass rushers every Sunday. 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.