Richard Sherman has spent the past week apologizing for his postgame outburst, but the famously-outspoken Seahawks cornerback says people are completely misreading his on-field confrontation with Michael Crabtree moments before.
In an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes that aired Monday night, Sherman explained his run-in with the 49ers wide receiver.
"It’s one of those things where the game’s gonna be over in 22 seconds and if the guy walks to the locker room then I don’t get a chance to say ‘good game,’ " Sherman said of NFL Films footage that showed Sherman running up to Crabtree after an interception effectively sealed the win for Seattle. "I guess it’s as good-natured as you can do in a football game."
In the footage, Sherman is seen chasing after Crabtree following the interception and patting him on the butt before extending his hand toward his on-field, and occasionally off-field, rival. Crabtree then pushed Sherman in the facemask. Only seconds later, Sherman would call Crabtree "sorry" in postgame interview with FOX Sports’ Erin Andrews.
While the sports world debated whether Sherman was taunting Crabtree, Sherman said Monday he was only trying tell Crabtree "great job" and admitted being "surprised" by Crabtree’s reaction.
"If he didn’t wanna shake all he had to do was just wave it off and I would’ve turned around and went and celebrated with my teammates," Sherman told Hayes.
When asked whether Crabtree’s shove was what sparked the Andrews rant, Sherman said that was caused by "a lot of other factors."
Sherman, who grew up in the gang- and crime-filled area of Compton, California, also talked to Hayes about his transition to attending school at Stanford.
"I’ve kinda had to be a chameleon of sorts because you drive from Compton to Stanford and you have to be able to flip the switch," Sherman said of adjusting to the difference in sub-cultures. "The culture’s too different to treat them both the same. It’s not right to treat them both the same."
Sherman also laughed off the idea that he dropped a gang reference during the Andrews segment, noting it was actually an acronym for the Seahawks’ defensive backs self-proclaimed nickname.
"Somebody said I was talking about a gang. And I was like, ‘LOB? Legion of Boom.’ That doesn’t make sense to anyone?" Sherman said.