Richard Sherman didn't go into details about what happened, but somewhere during the offseason he felt slighted by San Francisco wide receiver Michael Crabtree.Here's the video.
It made his final play of Sunday's NFC championship game that much more special for Seattle's All-Pro cornerback. It was one of the few moments that San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick decided to challenge Sherman, trying to find Crabtree on a throw to the end zone in the final minute.
And Sherman was up to the challenge, deflecting the pass into the air long enough for teammate Malcolm Smith to race over and intercept the pass to clinch Seattle's 23-17 win and the second Super Bowl trip in franchise history.
"I think everybody in the stadium was surprised," Sherman said. "You throw that, that's just a mistake."
Sherman stole the spotlight of the NFC title game between his athletic deflection, his taunting of Crabtree that followed and his television rant on the field after Russell Wilson took a knee to run off the final seconds.
While Smith was celebrating the interception, Sherman exchanged words with Crabtree, got shoved in the face as a rebuttal then made a choking gesture toward the San Francisco bench that he said was intended for Kaepernick.
Sherman ran over to Crabtree and gave him a pat on the backside, then appeared to extend his arm for a handshake. Instead, Sherman got shoved in the face before picking up his personal foul as his celebration continued.
Asked about the incident afterward by Fox reporter Erin Andrews, Sherman lit up Twitter with a rant that began: "I'm the best corner in the game. When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree, that's the result you gonna get. Don't you ever talk about me!"
Sherman didn't back down even after getting some time to collect his thoughts. He apologized to Andrews, then proceeded to call Crabtree "mediocre," making sure to annunciate each syllable of the word.
"I was making sure everybody knew Crabtree was a mediocre receiver," Sherman said. "And when you try the best corner in the game with a mediocre receiver that's what happens."
It was a fiery, emotional rant from Sherman, who celebrated his first conference title by racing around the field after Wilson took the final knee, then leaping into the first row of seats in the south end zone to celebrate with fans.
Since the interview (obviously) has gone viral, lots of people have (predictably) pelted Sherman with racist comments, questioning his intelligence and class. I personally found it rather hilarious.
We always complain about pro athletes speaking in cliches and granting interview after interview in which they say absolutely nothing. And here's a guy, just moments after probably his greatest professional accomplishment, speaking frankly and honestly, and people absolutely hate him for it.
Could Sherman have been a bit more tactful? Sure. But I'm gonna label this one Classy. Because tactful is boring. And a guy who does sh*t like this sorta deserves to be called out.
Question: Ashy Or Classy?!? Was this merely an athlete emoting in the heat of the moment, or a classless ignorant thug?