*Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman is defending himself after going in on San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree after Sunday’s NFC championship game.
The game ended with Seattle winning 23-17, securing their spot in the Feb. 2 Super Bowl against the Denver Broncos. The final play of the game involved a pass intended for Crabtree, but Sherman tipped the ball to teammate Malcolm Smith for the interception in the end zone. After the game, Sherman talked to Fox Sports’ Erin Andrews, who asked him about the final play.
“Well I’m the best corner in the game!” Sherman yelled. “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, who was visibly stunned, then asked whom he was talking about, to which Sherman yelled “Crabtree!”
“Don’t you open your mouth about the best,” Sherman yelled. “Or I’m gonna shut it for you real quick. LOB.”
Andrews then quickly threw back to game commentator Joe Buck. Sherman also called Crabtree a “mediocre receiver” in a news conference after the game.
Sherman, who regularly writes for the Sports Illustrated blog The MMQB, on Monday wrote a column for the site explaining what happened.
After the game, “I ran over to Crabtree to shake his hand, but he ignored me,” Sherman wrote. “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.”
Sherman went on to criticize Crabtree again.
“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,” he wrote. “As far as Crabtree being a top-20 NFL receiver, you’d have a hard time making that argument to me. … 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.”
Last season, Sherman also went off on Tom Brady after a Seattle victory over the New England Patriots, but on Monday he wrote that this is not typical behavior.
“It was loud, it was in the moment, and it was just a small part of the person I am,” he wrote. “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.”
He added that he’s gotten numerous texts from friends and family supporting his comments in his interview, while many Twitter users were “less supportive.”