After the Seattle Seahawks defeated the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game Sunday, the Seahawks victory wasn’t what was setting social media outlets abuzz – it was Richard Sherman’s post-game outburst.
After making the game-clinching play at the end of the game when he tipped away a pass that was intended for 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree, Sherman gave an explosive post-game interview.
“I'm the best corner in the game. When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree, that's 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.”
The outburst was reportedly in response to Crabtree saying Sherman isn’t the best cornerback in the league.
Immediately Sherman became the bad boy of the playoffs. But does that label fit?
The third-year player grew up on Compton, Calif. His father was a garbage man and his mother worked with disabled kids, according to CBS Sports. Sports Illustrated said Sherman often spent time with the young kids his mom worked with when he was growing up.
Sherman excelled in high school at Dominguez High – not only at football, when he became one of the best wide receivers in the country, but also in the classroom. Sherman graduated with a 4.2 grade point average, according to Sports Illustrated, ranking him No. 2 in his graduating class. He missed being No. 1 in his class by less than a tenth of a point, SI reported.
A highly recruited prep prospect, Sherman chose to go to Stanford for college, turning down the likes of USC.
With the Cardinal, Sherman starred at wide receiver before moving to cornerback. He recorded 81 catches for 1,340 yards and seven touchdowns, along with 112 tackles and six interceptions throughout his collegiate career.
Sherman also continued to excel academically at Stanford, tallying a 3.9 GPA, according to The Atlantic.
Off the field, Sherman now tries to give back to the community that he came from, telling inner-city kids the importance of education and providing them with school supplies through his foundation, Blanket Coverage.
But it’s the on-the-field Sherman that is making headlines heading into the Super Bowl. Sherman apologized for his post-game interview, and head coach Pete Carroll said he talked to him about his antics.
“I want him to present himself in his best light. He's an incredible kid. He really cares and has great awareness. He's a very thoughtful person, but he knows he caused a stir,” Carroll said.
“He was really clear [in their meeting] that the last thing he wanted to do was take something away from what our team has accomplished. He got caught in the throes of the battle, particularly for a guy who plays on such an edge, emotionally, like Richard does.”