A Non-Sports Fan’s Cliff Notes Guide To The Richard Sherman Rant

Richard Sherman rant play off game January 2014 GIF(via)

I don’t watch football myself, so when I saw Twitter and Tumblr flooded with mentions of someone named Richard Sherman, I didn’t worry too much about it. After all, it’s almost time for the sports-kickers to have their annual Bowl Game, right here in New York City, so I figured it was just something to do with that. (You know which game I mean, right? The Superb Owl.)

But the story — and the ensuing controversy — is sticking around, so I did myself the favor and read up on it. Just so I have the ability to discuss something other than Justin Bieber‘s downward spiral when in large groups of non-bloggers. Here’s what I learned.

Richard Sherman is a cornerback for the Seattle Seahawks, who played the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game this past Sunday night. The Seahawks beat the 49ers 23-17 and will go on to face the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl, thanks in large part to a pass successfully defended by Sherman. He hadn’t seen much action for most of the game (because according to my friend Nick, he’s so good that opposing teams don’t want the ball anywhere near him), so when Colin Kaepernick threw the ball to a 49ers receiver named Michael Crabtree that Sherman was covering, he was more than ready. He went up for the pass and tipped it to a teammate, who successfully intercepted it.

Richard Sherman intercepting a pass to Crabtree in NFL playoffs January 2014 GIF(via)

And since this was the final, game-ending play, Sherman was still really fired up when it came time for him to be interviewed by Erin Andrews, and went on a bit of a shouty rant. Here’s the video.

Sherman: “Well, 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.”
Andrews: “Who was talking about you?”
Sherman: “Crabtree. Don’t you open your mouth about the best. Or I’m gonna shut it for you real quick. L-O-B*.”

*Legion Of Boom, a nickname for Seattle’s defense

So, real quick — a couple of things to bear in mind here: 1. Sherman already has a reputation for (very intelligent) trash-talk, 2. this rivalry with Crabtree apparently goes back a pretty long way, 3. my friend Zach says that Sherman has had a chip on his shoulder since 2011 anyway, on account of being a fifth round pick, and 4. THIS MAN HAD JUST TAKEN HIS TEAM TO THE SUPER BOWL MOMENTS BEFORE.

Was his rant super gracious? No, absolutely not. Was it a bit much? Yeah, probably. But it came right after one of the most important moments of his career, so maybe we cut him a little slack? This dude’s a professional athlete, so can you really blame him for not turning his competitive spirit off the moment the game was over and won?

…apparently yes, we can. The immediate backlash to the rant came from people saying that it lacked class and was thuggish, which carries some pretty obvious racial connotations. And that’s not even getting into what people were saying on Twitter, where racial slurs were in disturbing abundance.

Crabtree pushing Richard Sherman's helmet January 2014 GIF(via)

But luckily, there’s now some backlash to the backlash, as Sherman published his own intelligent, logical explanation for his actions. Part of which includes the fact that he tried to shake Crabtree’s hand after the game and got a palm to the helmet for his troubles. (See above.) In fact, his response was so well-worded that detractors started claiming he couldn’t have written it. At which point people pointed out that he went to Stanford, which is the most elite university on the west coast, so he’s probably capable of putting together an effing op-ed. C’mon.

But those same people refused to be convinced, taking things to an even more racially offensive ground by asserting that since Sherman is from Compton originally, he must’ve gotten into Stanford for football and not on merit. Even though he was the salutatorian at his high school and is now enrolled in Stanford’s Master’s program. It’s pretty crazy.

So I guess bottom line, feel however you want about the rant…unless it’s superior to Richard Sherman. Because until I see you attending what’s essentially an Ivy League school and taking your team to the Super Bowl simultaneously, you’re just a sorry receiver like the rest of us. PREACH.

Share This Post:
    • Kristine

      Hmm.. I thought I saw Sherman give a little “attaboy” pat on
      Crabtree’s ass as he ran by, hence the helmet push. I never saw that as an
      attempt for a handshake!

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        “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.”

        From Sherman’s explanation, linked in the post. And the photo he included seems to support his statement, as Sherman’s hands are both out as Crabtree is connecting with his helmet.

      • elle

        Yeah, I’m pretty convinced I saw an attaboy ass tap too.

    • Katie

      I totally understand having that kind of reaction. I was interviewed for the newspaper after scoring a game winning goal in overtime once and my response was like, ‘Yeah, I got the ball! And then I kicked it in!”, and then I just cheered and ran away because I was so excited. Can’t really expect anyone to make sense just seconds after making the biggest play of the game.

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        Hahaha, I’m enjoying imagining a world in which that was Richard Sherman’s verbatim response.

    • Alison

      The Beats commercial with Sherman being badgered in the locker room about his past aired not long before his post-game interview with Andrews. Eerie foreshadowing, much?

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        Oh weird…

    • elle

      I think Sherman got way too much crap for this interview. It was heat of the moment right after the win, when nobody ever expected such a season from the Seahawks and Sherman was excited. And Sherman and Crabtree have a super contentious history and Sherman alluded to some stuff Crabtree said to him one on one. And Sherman is a very intelligent man.

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        Agreed on all counts!

    • BD

      Come on you have no business commenting on this since you admit you’re ignorant when it comes to football. #1 The hand shake was NOT after the game; the play had just ended and it was extremely wrong for him to attempt a hand shake.. This situation had absolutely nothing to do with race. And your ignorance is compounded by your perpetuating to also ignorant comments of the few who tried to interject it in the discussion. Again keep you nose out of things you don’t understand.

      • WTheend28

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      • Susan F

        Jane, I mean Alexis, you ignorant slut! Don’t you know better, having grown up with a gay parent (see other Crushable post), that you couldn’t possibly understand the very complicated game of football? Oh wait, this hubbub actually has nothing to do with football, and everything to do with human nature. And I know you know something about that. ;-)

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        Hahahaha thank you, Susan! I will keep my ignorant nose out of everyone’s business from now on!

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        Yeah! Let’s all keep our nose out of things we don’t understand! That way nobody ever learns anything!

    • Ria

      My husband grew up in Seattle and is a huge Seahawk’s fan so I guess I’m biased but I think this whole thing was blown way out of proportion. Plus, I absolutely hate the word “thug” and I think it’s horribly racist. If a white guy had ranted like this would they call him that?

      Anyway, my husband told me the history goes back to a fund raiser Crabtree and Sherman attended where Crabtree was mouthing off and trying to provoke Sherman. Not sure if it’s true but honestly, football is a game where very large men bash into each other for a living so maybe those who are terribly offended should start watching golf or tennis instead.

      • Alexis Rhiannon


    • taylor

      I didn’t even watch the game but I’m in love with this entire article. Would it be creepy to print it out and put it up on my wall? Probably. All I know is this guy is my new favorite football player. (My only favorite football player, but that’s not important.)

      • Alexis Rhiannon

        Not creepy at all! Doooooo it!

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