RENTON, Wash. — Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman apologized on Monday for his verbal attack on San Francisco 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree following the Seahawks’ 23-17 victory in Sunday night’s NFC Championship win, according to ESPN.com.
“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 in a text message to ESPN’s Ed Werder.
In an interview on ESPN Radio on Monday, 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.”
After Sherman made a game-saving play on Sunday by tipping away a pass in the end zone intended for Crabtree late in the game, he was outspoken during a TV interview with sideline reporter Erin Andrews.
“I’m the best corner in the game,” Sherman yelled. “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.”
Andrews asked who was talking about him.
“Crabtree,” he said. “Don’t you open your mouth about the best or I’m gonna shut it for you real quick.”
In his postgame news conference Sunday, Sherman said, “I was making sure everyone knew Crabtree was a mediocre receiver. 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.”
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said he spoke to Sherman about the comments he made on national television.
“We aren’t perfect and we all make mistakes,” Carroll said on Seattle ESPN radio affiliate Monday. “Things don’t always come out exactly as we planned.
“I look at it like this: What would I tell my son? I’m a dad. I speak from that perspective. Maybe (the players) don’t always want to hear it that way, but it’s the best way I can communicate. That has already taken place and we’ve already talked about it.”
“You’re talking about a guy in a warrior’s mentality in the middle of everything,” Carroll said. “He’s a fiery guy. That was Richard being Richard in a moment where you would like to pull him to the side and take a knee for a while, then we’ll talk to you.
“It’s unfortunate that it was so crazed, but that’s who he is. His mental makeup to get ready for that matchup was expressed right there so he could play the way he can play. Unfortunately, sharing with the world, it didn’t come across so well.”
However, Carroll also said Sherman’s postgame behavior was not indicative of the team’s guidelines.
“We try to stick to Rule No. 1, which is always protect the team,” Carroll said. “It’s the rule we live by. You always represent us. In a time like that one, it was a little bit representing yourself.
“How we handle it is we try to grow and learn and work our way through who we are and figure out who we want to be. This was an extraordinary learning opportunity. You’ll see some benefit from it.”
Carroll said Sherman just got carried away.
“Richard is a wonderful spirit,” he said. “He’s got an amazing heart and he has great sensitivity. He goes all the way to the end of the spectrum when it comes to expressing himself.”
Sherman writes a regular column for Peter King’s mmqb.com, and did not back down from his comments Monday.
“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. “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.”
Sherman’s issues with Crabtree date back to an incident at a charity event held by Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald over the offseason, with Sherman’s older brother telling the Seattle Times that Crabtree tried to start a fight when Sherman went to shake his hand.
“I’m going to make a play and embarrass him,” Sherman vowed that day, per the Times story. Sherman acknowledged there was an issue over the offseason.
“He said something personal face-to-face,” Sherman said. “He knows what he said, and he knows I’m going to be tough on him the rest of his career.”
—Carroll said wide receiver Percy Harvin “should be fine” for Super Bowl XLVIII against the Denver Broncos on Feb. 2.
Harvin did not practice last week while recovering from a concussion and did not play in the NFC title game.