San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree may have an angry feud for the rest of his career, after the wild comments from Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman following the Seattle win on Sunday.
Sherman went off during an on-the-field interview with Fox Sports’ Erin Andrews, after the Seahawks clinching of the NFC Championship.
During his rant, the Seattle cornerback claimed the choke sign he flashed to teammate Malcolm Smith after Sherman’s game-winning interception wasn’t aimed at Crabtree or 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh.
Instead, the gesture was meant for San Francisco’s quarterback Colin Kapernick, who had three crucial turnovers in the closing minutes of the game, allowing Seattle to consolidate their victory and earn a trip to Super Bowl XLVIII, where they will face the Denver Broncos. Apparently, the refs were not amused, and Sherman’s behavior earned him a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct.
In the bizarre post-game interview, Andrews asked Sherman to walk her through his last interception, and he started ranting about being the best in the game:
“Well, I’m the best player in the game. When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree, that’s the result you’re going to get. Don’t you ever talk about me.” an angry Sherman said to a shocked Andrews.
The stunned Andrews tried find out what Sherman was so agitated about, and asked, “Who’s talking about you?”
“Crabtree. Don’t you open your mouth about the best, or I’m going to shut it for you real quick.”
After Richard Sherman’s game-clinching deflection for an interception, he was FIRED UP with our @Edwerderespn. »
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 20, 2014
During the customary post-game interviews from the podium, Sherman was a little more subdued. However, he continued his ranting against Michael Crabtree, explaining that the 49ers player made a personal comment to him in the off-season, and “he knows I’m going to be tough on him for the rest of his career.”
Sherman refused to say what was said, but made it clear he doesn’t think very highly of Crabtree, who couldn’t stop him from making an interception on Kapernick’s last pass with 22-seconds left.
“Me and Earl (Thomas, the Seahawks safety) had a very heated discussion earlier in the week,” Sherman told reporters. “He thought Crabtree was a top-15 receiver. I said he wouldn’t break the top 20 and his team, if they had a choice in the top 10, to draft any receiver in a fantasy draft of the whole NFL, they wouldn’t pick Crabtree.”
As for Crabtree, he says he won’t get into the squabble with Sherman:
“I ain’t getting into that,” said Crabtree, who shoved Sherman in the face after he was offered a hand following the interception. “He knows what time it is. When we were on the field, he isn’t doing nothing.”
When asked whether Sherman was disrespectful to him, Crabtree said, “He’s a TV guy. I’m not a TV guy. I play ball. He makes one play and he talks. Good play.”
Everyone in social media seems to have an opinion in the Crabtree-Sherman fight:
Richard Sherman be like… pic.twitter.com/PhlMV5RiVg
— Not Charles Barkley (@NotChuckBarkley) January 20, 2014
— Jim Ross (@JRsBBQ) January 20, 2014
— Branden Hampton (@NotBranden) January 20, 2014
Sherman for his part, showed a softer side when he sent well-wishes to injured San Francisco player Navorro Bowman:
Praying for @NBowman53… Hate to see such an amazing player go down like that… Speedy recovery
— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) January 20, 2014
There is clearly more than meets the eye in this conflict, and the antics moved on to social media, where Crabtree didn’t mince words:
— Michael Crabtree (@KingCrab15) January 20, 2014