Richard Sherman Talks Controversial Interview in Exclusive with Rachel Nichols

Tim KeeneyContributor IJanuary 22, 2014

Seattle Seahawks' Richard Sherman speaks at an NFL football news conference Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, in Renton, Wash. The Seahawks play the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl on Feb. 2. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

Richard Sherman has become one of the most polarizing players in the NFL

Before the NFC Championship Game against the San Francisco 49ers last Sunday night, most generally knew the Seattle Seahawks cornerback as one of the most talented shutdown defenders in the league, but also someone who likes to talk—a lot.

Well, in a moment, that was all taken to another level. Just seconds after Sherman batted Colin Kaepernick's pass to Malcolm Smith for a game-sealing interception. takes us inside the play by allowing us to hear from the perspective of Sherman and Michael Crabtree.

What happened next, as you all surely know by now, was one of the wildest postgame interviews we've seen in quite some time, as Erin Andrews corralled Sherman.

The reaction, in a word, was mixed. Some didn't mind Sherman's interview. It was brash, but it was real and full of emotion, certainly better than someone answering with a bunch of cliches. Others took to Twitter to make racial slurs directed at the cornerback. 

In a recent exclusive with Rachel Nichols, Sherman talked about that latter group:

Note: You can watch the entire interview on Nichols' show, Unguarded, Friday, Jan. 24 at 10:30 p.m. ET on CNN. 

"It was really mind-boggling," Sherman said about the racial comments. "For the people that did react that way, and throw racial slurs and things like that out there, it was really sad."

A word that continually popped up in the aftermath was "thug." During a press conference on Wednesday, Sherman talked about how much that has bothered him:

In both instances above, Sherman makes valid points. 

He got caught up in the heat of the moment after making the biggest play of his life, but he has since apologized in an attempt to deflect some of the attention to his teammates, who helped Seattle book a trip to the Super Bowl against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. 

Still, if you choose to dislike him, or if you were offended by his actions, that's fine. But to call him a thug or bring race into the equation reeks of ignorance.

Sherman is a smart, talented player. He may turn some people off, but he hasn't harmed anyone. And there's no denying he plays the game at a very high level with passion and intensity.

He'll put that on full display in the biggest game of his career at Super Bowl XLVIII.