By Meghan Alessi
If you missed the post-game interview from Richard Sherman following the Seattle Seahawks vs. San Francisco 49er’s game last Sunday, you should look it up. There has been a lot of controversy since then over whether his loud comments were acceptable or not. Erin Andrews, an ESPN reporter, interviewed Sherman immediately after the Seahawks won the game 23-17, while they were still on the football field.
Andrews said, “On the final play, take me through it.” Sherman responded by screaming, “Well, I’m the best corner in the game. When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree, that’s the result you’re going to get. Don’t you ever talk about me!”
Andrews, taken aback, then replied with, “Who was talking about you?” Sherman quickly said, “Crabtree! Don’t you open your mouth about the best, or I’m going to shut it for you real quick. L.O.B.” L.O.B. refers to “Legion of Boom,” which is a nickname for the Seahawks secondary. Michael Crabtree is a wide receiver for the 49ers who is currently under a six-year $32 million contract. Not bad for a sorry receiver. Sherman is under a four-year $2.22 million contract with the Seahawks. However, CNN reports that his agents estimate he could make upwards of $5 million from advertisers following his interview, so we may see more of Sherman in commercials during the Super Bowl and not just in the game itself.
The interview with Sherman was full of raw emotion. It wasn’t scripted, wasn’t well thought-out or rehearsed. It was a player that was still amped up from winning the game that is sending his team to the Super Bowl. Does that mean it was acceptable?
Sherman was fined $7,875 by the National Football League for his bad sportsmanship. He was seen making choking gestures, symbolizing the 49ers’ choking the game. Then, after deflecting the 49ers pass into the end zone, securing the Seahawks’ victory, he taunted Crabtree on the field. Crabtree responded by pushing Sherman’s facemask away. Then there was the interview.
Perhaps even more intriguing than the interview itself was the way in which the viewers responded. They took to Twitter to call Sherman everything from a “thug” to their hero. Fans of Sherman brought up his personal background. He grew up in Compton, Calif., infamously known for its violence and high crime rates, and went on to graduate from Stanford University. He clearly came from a rough background and has been successful. However, when it’s all said and done, your personal background doesn’t matter when you are expected to behave in a professional manner. ESPN even made a comparison between him and the comic book character “Motormouth.”
This is not his first offense when it comes to publicly calling people out and talking smack. In March of last year he appeared on ESPN’s First Take with Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless. He began arguing with Bayless about how good of a player he is. He took it to a personal level and proceeded to tell Bayless, “in my 24 years of life, I’m better at life than you.” When Bayless asked Sherman if he thought he was better than Darrelle Revis (a cornerback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers), he simply replied with, “I’m better than you.” Immediately after this comment, he began talking about his work through community service and helping out with high school kids, as if that made his comments acceptable.
That’s not all. He then went on to tell Bayless, “I’m intelligent enough and capable enough to understand that you are an ignorant, pompous, egotistical cretin” and “I’m going to crush you on here in front of everybody, because I am tired of hearing about it.” If you have ever watched First Take, you know that sometimes Bayless is a hard man to like. However, in this context, Sherman’s words were unnecessary and took away from what could have been a positive interview about his successful season in the NFL.
Only time will tell if he will be a household name due to his tremendous athleticism, his trash talking or most likely a bit of both.