Super Bowl XLVIII is 10 days
away, but off-the-field drama continues for Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman.
He's facing backlash over his post-playoff rant Sunday.
However, newly released
audio clips from the game reveal the moments before Sherman's post-game rant.
By now, most people have seen or heard about Sherman's post-game interview, but nobody really knew what he told 49ers wide-receiver Michael Crabtree in the end zone, until now. It turns out throughout the game, the NFL had both players mic'd up. Some of the clips aired Wednesday night on Showtime’s "Inside The NFL."
Seconds after the pivotal play cemented Seattle’s victory, Sherman sprinted over to 49ers receiver Crabtree and said “Hell of a game - hell of game!” Crabtree then shoves Sherman in the face.
The raw emotion then spilled over into the post-game interview seen around the world.
"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," Sherman told Fox Sports’ Erin Andrews.
The rant, which lasted less than minute, dominated headlines and lit up Twitter, with many slamming Sherman.
“We are talking about football here, and a lot of people took it a little further than football,” said Sherman during a Seattle Seahawks press conference Wednesday.
The 25-year-old told reporters he was surprised by the backlash.
"Maybe it was misdirected, maybe things may have been immature, things could have been worded better, but this is on a football field,” he said. “I didn't commit any crimes. I wasn't doing anything illegal. I was showing passion after a football game."
Sherman said his outburst was only "a small part of who he is."
In fact, the Stanford grad from Compton, Calif., said he was most hurt by people calling him a thug.
"The only reason it bothers me is because it seems like it's an accepted way of calling someone the N-word nowadays,” he said. “I know some ‘thugs.’ They know I am the furthest thing from a ‘thug.’"
The dispute between Sherman and Crabtree dates back to a charity camp last summer hosted by Cardinals wide-receiver Larry Fitzgerald. Sherman wrote that Crabtree said something to him, but has not said exactly what.