Richard Sherman addressed the media publicly for the first time and gave his perspective on being called a "thug" in the fallout of his now-renowned postgame interview following the NFC Championship.
"It seems like it's the accepted way of calling somebody the 'N' word. I saw a hockey game where they threw the puck aside and just started fighting. I saw that and I'm like, 'So I'm the thug?'
"I know some 'thugs,' and they know I'm the furthest thing from a thug. I've fought that my whole life, just coming from where I'm coming from. Just because you hear Compton, you hear Watts, you hear cities like that, you just think 'thug, he's a gangster, he's this, that, and the other,' and then you hear Stanford, and they're like, 'oh man, that doesn't even make sense, that's an oxymoron.'You fight it for so long, and to have it come back up and people start to use it again, it's frustrating."
Sherman explained the interview happened in the heat of the moment after a game. He added that he "didn't commit any crimes" and was "just showing passion after a football game. His "passion" was a common theme brought up by the defensive back discussing his outburst, saying people behind computer screens who criticized him for his reaction had "time to articulate" the perfect response to his outburst that he didn't.
The Seahawks defensive back echoed much of what he said in his Tuesday evening apology, adding that he has a great group of people around him that understand who he is as a person:
"My teammates would never say anything bad about me, even if they thought it. That's the kind of locker room we have. There weren't any private conversations that we had."
Why you mad?
Why you mad?
The bulk of the press conference centered on the Super Bowl itself, with Sherman giving credit to Peyton Mannning's ability to find a spot in the armor and "attack it until there's a hole." He didn't shy away from several questions hearkening back to his interview, saying he believes he has some similarities to Muhammad Ali because of the way he was by staying "true to himself," adding "Giving a true speech, a true passionate speech is old-school football. Maybe I just haven't adjusted to time":
"There's a saying 'Don't judge a book by its cover' but they're judging it by its cover. They don't look at what I've done off the field. I haven't been arrested multiple times or anything like that."
Sherman closed by saying he didn't intend any malice when he attempted to shake Michael Crabtree's hand to close out the season, but admitted it was "bad timing." The All-Pro corner won't apologize for making a choking gesture at 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, saying "Nah man, it's Reggie Miller. It's rivalries."