Richard Sherman is downright charming on media day

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 28, 2014 at 4:28 pm •  Published: January 28, 2014
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NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Richard Sherman couldn't wait to start talking Tuesday.

No surprise there.

Even before his allotted hour began at Super Bowl media day, Seattle's polarizing cornerback started answering questions from a podium set up in the middle of a hockey arena in downtown Newark.

By the time the official clock started on the Seahawks' session, Sherman was already on No. 6.

"Whatever you got," he said, egging on reporters to ask anything they wanted.

For sure, Sherman presented a much different side than that angry 20-second rant after the NFC championship game, which sparked a national debate over sportsmanship and racial attitudes.

He was charming, funny and didn't raise his voice at all except to make sure he could be heard by the horde of media gathered around him, which was at least a dozen-deep at times. He went out his way to praise his teammates. He had nothing but nice things to say about Sunday's opponent, the Denver Broncos.

But it never came across as some sort of mea culpa, as though Sherman had been coached by public-relations people on the best way to shore up his image. No, this seemed to be a guy simply taking advantage of the opportunity to show there's far more to him than what people saw after he tipped a pass to help clinch Seattle's victory over San Francisco, then went off on 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree in a brief interview while still on the field.

"People think I'm a loudmouth, an angry guy," Sherman said. "That's a big misconception."

While he was astonished by some of the racially charged comments that were directed his way, he seemed pleased that the episode sparked more serious debate about racial stereotypes — in particular, all those people who referred to the dreadlocked defensive back as a "thug."

"There was this picture of me, but no background information, and people passed judgment," Sherman said. "Now, there's a discussion happening because people realize they were stereotyping people like me. We're trying to break those walls down."

While Sherman made clear his disdain for Crabtree during the infamous interview with Fox's Erin Andrews, he didn't mention his teammates until later, after he had time to calm down and conducted a more formal news conference that was seen by far fewer people.

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