Seahawks’ Richard Sherman on tweet from wife of Bills kicker: ‘It’s just the way of the world’
Nov 9, 2016, 6:07 PM | Updated: 6:13 pm
Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman said Wednesday that he wasn’t surprised by the comments directed at him by the wife of Bills kicker Dan Carpenter nor was he at all satisfied by her follow-up statement.
Upset about how Sherman collided with her husband during a field-goal attempt in Monday night’s Seahawks-Bills game, Kaela Carpenter posted a tweet that referred to Sherman as an “animal,” implied he should be castrated and included a picture of an implement used for castration.
She wrote in a statement earlier Wednesday that the since-deleted tweet “was never intended to be about race, or the disgusting hatred that creates the basis for racism.” She did not apologize for the comments, which she characterized as an attempt at humor that was taken the wrong way.
Speaking with the media for the first time since Monday night, Sherman was asked Wednesday if Carpenter’s initial tweet surprised him.
“It’s not surprising at all,” he said. “This is a day and age you’ve got the Ku Klux Klan running around. People say whatever they want and there’s very little consequence. For her to say something like that and then have a B.S. apology like she did, it’s just the way of the world. I don’t let it bother me. It’s stuff that I’m very used to. It’s just the way people are, the way people were raised.”
Sherman was asked if that saddens him.
“It’s more disappointing than anything, but it’s also something that’s understandable,” he said. “Ignorance has always been in the world. The core of this country has been built off slavery and people owning people, so anytime you understand that’s the core principals of the way a nation was built, then you’ve got to have some kind of, I guess, sympathy for it.”
The play that started all of this – Kaela Carpenter’s tweet, her follow-up statement, Sherman’s reaction plus an admission from the NFL of two blown calls during an absolute debacle of a sequence – came at the end of the first half of Monday night’s game. Sherman came off the edge early in an attempt to block Buffalo’s 53-yard field-goal attempt, so early that the ball had yet to be kicked by the time he arrived.
He was adamant Wednesday that there was no whistle until after he got his hand on the ball and collided with Carpenter, which is an important distinction in the context of how the play was officiated.
“There was no whistle,” Sherman said. “The league goes back and hindsights everything and says this and says that because they want to appease the fans, but I know the rule book and I know exactly what I was doing on the play.”
What Sherman was doing, he said, was treating it as though it were a free play for Buffalo. That term usually applies to the no-lose scenario an offense suddenly finds itself in when a defender jumps offsides and the play is allowed to continue. If the offense likes the result of the play, it can decline the penalty and take whatever yardage was gained. If not, the offense can accept the penalty and the 5 yards that comes with it. So an offense can operate with temporary impunity on a free play, knowing that the worst possible result will be a 5-yard gain via the penalty and a replay of the down.
But that only applies when officials allow the play to continue. They won’t do so if the offsides defender is “unabated to the quarterback,” i.e., if he has an unobstructed path. Officials will blow the play dead in that case as to protect the quarterback.
“But if a guy’s not coming scot-free, they’ll let the play go on and a lot of teams score touchdowns like that,” Sherman said.
That’s actually what happened on Russell Wilson’s go-ahead touchdown pass to Jermaine Kearse in the 2013 NFC title game against San Francisco. Seattle’s receivers adjusted their routes after noticing a 49ers defender jump offsides. Wilson heaved a deep pass into the end zone and Kearse hauled it in.
Referee Walt Anderson said after Monday night’s game that officials were trying to blow the play dead upon seeing Sherman jump offsides. He said they didn’t flag Sherman for unnecessary roughness because he may not have realized that in time. In the absence of a whistle, he may not have. And in the absence of a whistle, Carpenter was going to attempt his kick.
“As long as he was kicking the ball, I was going to try to block it,” Sherman said.
He added: “If the kick had gone through, they would have said, good kick, declined the penalty, field goal good, they got three points. But they didn’t blow the ball dead until they kicked it.”
And because Sherman jumped offsides so early, he arrived at the ball before it was kicked. He tweeted a picture Tuesday showing that his left hand was on the ball before he collided with Carpenter, his way of dispelling the notion that he was going for the kicker’s legs.
“You see my trajectory, the ball was still on the ground, there was no other way to block it,” he said. “Usually we don’t run into the kicker because the ball is already kicked. When the ball’s sitting on the ground, there’s no other way to get there but to go at that angle. So people are like, ‘What is the angle you were going at? You’re trying to trying to hurt the kicker.’ But it’s like, no there was no other angle, but most of you guys aren’t athletes and never play a sport and would never do anything athletic in your life, so it’s hard for you to understand.”