SEATTLE (CBS Seattle/AP) — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was not a fan of Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman’s postgame comments on national television following their win over the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game Sunday.
“No, I’m not cheering for that,” Goodell told “CBS This Morning” Thursday. “He is such a great young man. He is extremely well-spoken, does great things off the field, obviously a great player on the field. I want him to present himself in the best possible way and make sure that he is reflecting on himself and his family in a positive way.”
Goodell said that Sherman’s response took away from the Seahawks advancing to the Super Bowl to face the Denver Broncos.
“He took away a little bit from the team, that’s what he said yesterday, and I think that was a very interesting comment and I think that was fair,” Goodell said.
Sherman spoke at length for the first time Wednesday since Sunday’s postgame comments to Fox reporter Erin Andrews became the talking point. It was a loud, emotional moment that happened just a few minutes after the Seahawks earned the second Super Bowl berth in franchise history.
Sherman was at the center of the decisive play, deflecting a pass intended for Michael Crabtree in the end zone and watching teammate Malcolm Smith run over to intercept it to clinch the victory. Sherman’s ensuing remarks were directed mostly at Crabtree but his intense, shouting delivery is what took people aback.
“Well, I’m the best corner in the game! When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree, that is the result you’re gonna get! Don’t you ever talk about me!”
“Don’t you open your mouth about the best, or I’m gonna shut it for you real quick!”
Sherman said the reaction that followed over the next two days left him a little stunned as well.
“I was surprised by it. Because we’re talking about football here and a lot of people took it a little bit further than football.” Sherman said. “I guess some people showed how far we have really come in this day and age and it was kind of profound what happened and people’s opinions of that nature, because I was on a football field showing passion. Maybe it was misdirected, maybe things may have been immature, maybe things could have been worded better but this is on a football field. I didn’t commit any crimes, I wasn’t doing anything illegal. I was showing passion after a football game.”
Sherman apologized for taking away the spotlight from the performances by some of his teammates. Marshawn Lynch’s 109 yards rushing and 40-yard touchdown, Jermaine Kearse’s 35-yard touchdown catch on fourth-down and Bobby Wagner’s 15 tackles all became secondary to Sherman’s words.
What seemed to bother Sherman the most in the fallout was hearing the word “thug” attached to his name.
“The only reason it bothers me is it seems like it’s an accepted way of calling someone the N-word nowadays. It’s like everybody else said the N-word and they said thug and they’re like, ‘that’s fine,'” Sherman said. “That’s where it kind of takes me aback. It’s kind of disappointing because they know. What is the definition of a thug, really?”
Sherman was peppered with questions for more than 20 minutes Wednesday. Teammate Russell Wilson was also asked about the fallout. He said it hasn’t been a distraction as the Seahawks begin preparing for Denver.
Sherman also didn’t like hearing that some have labeled the team villainous.
“Anytime you label Russell Wilson a villain it has to be a joke,” he said.
Sherman said he has not reached out to Crabtree. Sherman attempted to shake Crabtree’s hand following the interception only to get shoved in the face. Even after his on-field interview, Sherman continued to deride Crabtree in his postgame media session, calling the receiver “mediocre” and later saying their problems dated to an incident during an offseason event in Arizona.
Sherman said he doesn’t regret the choke sign he directed at San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick, a gesture that drew a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct.
“No man, it’s Reggie Miller,” Sherman said. “It’s Reggie Miller. It’s rivalries, right?”
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