Richard Sherman Defends Hit on Marcus Mariota, Says Officiating Getting 'Softer'

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistSeptember 25, 2017

NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 24:  Quarterback Marcus Mariota #8 of the Tennessee Titans is hit by Cornerback Richard Sherman #25 of the Seattle Seahawks at Nissan Stadium on September 24, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Shaban Athuman/Getty Images)
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Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman hit back at criticism he received Sunday following a late hit on Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota in the Seahawks' 33-27 defeat.

"He was still in bounds," Sherman said, per sportswriter John Glennon. "... It seems like the world is getting a lot softer in terms of the way it's officiated."

Sherman received a flag for unnecessary roughness on the play but remained in the game because the referees issued four offsetting unnecessary roughness penalties. Many on social media called for Sherman's ejection:

Fox Sports officiating expert Mike Pereira agreed with the officials' ruling:

The hit triggered a brief fracas between the two teams, with Titans offensive tackle Taylor Lewan getting in the face of Sherman.

The Titans had the last laugh. Mariota finished 20-of-32 for 225 yards and two touchdowns through the air, while the trio of Mariota, Derrick Henry and DeMarco Murray combined to run for 196 yards and a touchdown.

The Seahawks, meanwhile, are sitting at 1-2 on the year. Seattle also started 1-2 in 2015, when it finished 10-6 and exited in the NFC divisional round.

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