Days after his conduct in the NFC title game sparked a wide-ranging controversy, Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman has been fined $7,875 for what the NFL calls unsportsmanlike conduct and taunting at the end of that game against the San Francisco 49ers.
Sherman famously tipped a pass into the hands of a teammate late in that game, sealing the win for Seattle. And then he equally famously launched into a brief, but excited and loud, rant about his abilities with sideline reporter Erin Andrews.
NPR's Richard Gonzales reports for our Newscast unit:
"Sherman clinched Seattle's 23-17 victory by deflecting an end-zone pass intended for receiver Michael Crabtree in the closing minute of the game. Sherman then ran over and tapped Crabtree on the backside, but Crabtree shoved Sherman in the face.
"The Seattle cornerback then made a choking gesture he said was aimed at Niners quarterback Colin Kaepernik.
"The taunting drew a fine of $7,875. Sherman, in a postgame interview, boasted about his play, making remarks he later acknowledged were 'misdirected and immature.'"
From seemingly the moment that game ended last weekend, Sherman's judgment and character have been debated in online analysis, segments on CNN, ESPN, and other media — and on couches, bar stools, and office chairs around America.
But the episode, and Sherman, have proven to be more complicated than a first glance might have shown. If you need to catch up, Mark reported on those aspects of the story earlier this week in his post "Think You Know Richard Sherman After His 'Rant'? Maybe Not".
And yesterday, Eyder told us about "The Bit Of Sportsmanship That Led To Richard Sherman's Rant," in which we learned that in video from the game, Sherman "is heard telling Crabtree, 'Hell of a game,' and reaching for a handshake" before being pushed away.
His postgame outburst led some to label Sherman a "thug." This week, the cornerback explained why that bothered him, as Huffington Post reported:
"'The only reason it bothers me is because it seems like it's the accepted way of calling somebody the N-word nowadays,' Sherman said during a press conference on Wednesday. 'It's like everyone else said the N-word and they said "Thug" and they're like, "Ah, that's fine." That's where it kind of takes me aback and it's kind of disappointing.'"
If you're wondering what financial impact the fine might have on Sherman, a Yahoo! Sports article from last August placed his base salary for this season at $555,000.