Conservative radio icon Rush Limbaugh defended Seahawk’s cornerback Richard Sherman following his unhinged post-game tirade on Sunday, pointing out that this was a championship game and that “this is their life. They’re all wound up.”
The radio host — who also happens to be a former ESPN commentator and avid football fan — discussed Sherman’s remarks after the 49ers-Seahawks game during his show’s opening on Monday. Many were outraged at the cornerback’s unbridled arrogance and aggressive demeanor — with some even tweeting racist remarks about Sherman, who is black.
“My email lit up — and I guess a lot of peoples did — with the reaction to Richard Sherman, the post-game interview with [Fox Sports reporter] Erin Andrews after the 49ers – Seahawks game,” Limbaugh began. But rather than pile onto the player, the radio host attempted to explain what may have caused the blowup.
“Last summer I guess it was, Larry Fitzgerald — a wide receiver for the Arizona Cardinals — had a charity event, a golf tournament or some such thing,” Limbaugh explained. “And at that event, Richard Sherman and Michael Crabtree nearly got into a fight, that apparently Crabtree started. This is the best information I got.”
Limbaugh described the last play of the game, when Sherman batted away a touchdown pass intended for Crabtree, and then played Sherman’s angry diatribe against the 49ers player.
“And there’s so many people who claimed that they were Seahawks fans are now claiming they’re rooting for the Broncos in the Superbowl, because they just hate this,” Limbaugh said. “This guy’s become a villain, he’s become an arrogant egomaniac, all about me, saying these mean things about another player when nobody knows the history between the two, and Crabtree didn’t do anything to Sherman that anybody saw so it didn’t make any sense.”
“It was raw,” Limbaugh explained. “It was at the end of the — frankly folks, I’m surprised we don’t get more post-game interviews like this, when the adrenaline is still pumping and the emotions are still raw. These people are playing for the championship of the NFL, the NFC conference. This is huge stuff. This is their life. They’re all wound up.”
“Let me tell you something about Sherman,” he continued. “Richard Sherman is a really smart guy . . . Sherman writes a weekly piece [on the Monday Morning Quarterback website], and the guy’s smart. He’s football smart, but he’s just generally — great grammar, great vocabulary. That’s why this outburst yesterday surprised a lot of people who know the guy, because he really is a smart guy.”
“I’m convinced that if people got to know Sherman they’d like him,” Limbaugh said. “He came out of Compton, Calif. — solid family, despite that place being just an infested slum, it’s south-central L.A. He’s really, from the way he writes, a student of the game of football. He’s really a smart guy.”
“Some people say, ‘Yeah, but Rush, this is who he really is,’” the radio host continued. “Well, we’ll find out.”
Sherman himself reacted to the tumult Monday morning. “It was loud, it was in the moment, and it was just a small part of the person I am,” he wrote. “I don’t want to be a villain, because I’m not a villainous person . . . To those who would call me a thug or worse because I show passion on a football field — don’t judge a person’s character by what they do between the lines. Judge a man by what he does off the field, what he does for his community, what he does for his family.”
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