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Richard Sherman Regrets Outburst; Responds to Racially Inspired Backlash

011914-NFL-SEAHAWKS-RICHARD-SHERMAN-POST-GAME-INTERVIEW-RANT-DC-PI-CQRichard Sherman, the Seattle All-Pro cornerback who caused a national debate during a wild post-game interview Sunday following the Seahawks’ AFC Championship Game victory over San Francisco, apologized for the outburst and fired back against those who leveled racially charged criticism at him.

Sherman tipped a last-second pass to Michael Crabtree that was intercepted by Malcolm Smith to preserve the Seahawks’ 23-17 win.  Afterward, the usually affable Sherman went on a wild rant, screaming that Crabtree is “a mediocre receiver,” among other things. The backlash was swift and in some circles harsh, with many calling Sherman a “thug.””I apologize for attacking an individual and taking the attention away from the fantastic game by my teammates … That was not my intent,” Sherman said Monday in a text message to ESPN’s Ed Werder.

On a radio program, Sherman said: “Obviously I could have worded things better and could obviously have had a better reaction and done things differently. But it is what it is now, and people’s reactions are what they are.”

In social media, Sherman, who went to Stanford, was widely criticized.

“I was making sure everyone knew Crabtree was a mediocre receiver,” Sherman said in his postgame news conference. “And when you try the best corner in the game with a mediocre receiver, that’s what happens. I appreciate that he knows that now. There has been a lot of talk from him running his mouth about me.”

Sherman, who is Black, considered the backlash racist in nature.

“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,” Sherman wrote in the column posted on “Judge a man by what he does off the field, what he does for his community, what he does for his family.

“But people find it easy to take shots on Twitter, and to use racial slurs and bullying language far worse than what you’ll see from me. It’s sad and somewhat unbelievable to me that the world is still this way, but it is. I can handle it.”

On Twitter, Sherman wrote: “Last night shows that racism is still alive and well… And that’s so sad…. At Least some people respect MLKs dream.”

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