It was clear Sunday night when Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman called out 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree during a postgame interview that something was going on beneath the surface — something reporter Erin Andrews and fans watching weren’t privy to. The origin of the bad blood between the two players finally might have come to light.
Sherman has been on a quest to make sure everyone knows Crabtree is “a mediocre receiver” ever since the two crossed paths at a charity event, according to Jerry Brewer of The Seattle Times. Sherman and Crabtree were both guests at an event held by Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald last summer. When Sherman went to shake Crabtree’s hand, Crabtree tried to start a fight, according to Sherman’s older brother, Branton.
Sherman made a vow after that day that he ultimately kept.
“I’m going to make a play and embarrass him,” Sherman reportedly said.
During the fourth quarter of Sunday night’s NFC Championship Game, Sherman tipped a Colin Kaepernick pass intended for Crabtree. The ball was intercepted by linebacker Malcolm Smith to seal the Seahawks’ victory and Super Bowl berth.
Sherman made a similar play at the end of the Seahawks’ game against the New York Giants in December, tipping a pass that safety Earl Thomas intercepted to ensure a shutout victory.
“I did that on purpose, bro,” Richard said to his brother after the Giants game, according to the report.
“Nah, that was luck,” Branton replied.
“OK, I’ll do it again sometime,” Richard said.
It seems that Sherman, while outspoken, is a man of his word.