Two weeks ago, Richard Sherman dressed in a Harry Potter wizard costume complete with an Elder Wand.
Last week, he railed against the NFL’s officiating and inequity in its rules.
As out-of-the-box as his pre-Halloween costume was, as outspoken as he was last week and throughout his career, this week’s press-conference subjects broke new ground. Even for Sherman.
The social-media postings of the wife of an opposing kicker. Oh, and castration.
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The Seahawks’ three-time All-Pro cornerback had two words Wednesday for Kaela Carpenter, wife of Buffalo Bills kicker Dan Carpenter.
Two letters, more specifically.
That’s what Sherman called Kaela Carpenter’s apology posted on her social-media account Wednesday in which she cited an “attempt at humor.” That was after she had posted on Twitter a picture of a bander, a metal device used on farms to castrate animals, along with this message: “I know what we do on the farm when a male can’t control his own rage. #LuckyImNotThere #Sherman #ActLikeAnAmimalGetTreatedLike1.”
Yes, that’s the world in which we live.
Her venting came after Sherman was way offside on her husband’s first field-goal attempt late in the first half of Monday night’s Seahawks win over the Bills. Sherman then hit the kicker and the ball but was not penalized.
It was the first of a series of bizarre events and officiating errors that marred Seattle’s 31-25 victory.
“My attempt at humor during a heated and highly controversial NFL game has not been received the way I intended,” Mrs. Carpenter wrote. “When I saw the out of control nature of the events that happened on the field, I jokingly wanted to relate it to life on the farm, where I grew up, and how it would have been handled there. Unfortunately, I did not realize that a tone of racism would dominate the response to what I intended to be a lighthearted defense of my husband. Regardless of the narrative that has been attached to my post, it was never intended to be related to race, or the disgusting hatred that creates the basis for racism.”
Sherman didn’t accept that.
“It’s not surprising, at all. This is a day and age you’ve got the Klu Klux Klan running around,” Sherman said before Wednesday’s practice for Sunday night’s test for the Seahawks (5-2-1) at New England (7-1). “People say whatever they want, and there’s very little consequence. For her to say something like that, and then have a BS apology like she did, it’s just the way of the world.
“I don’t let it bother me. It’s something I’m very used to. You know, it’s the way people are, the way they were raised.”
Asked if that saddened him, Sherman said: “It’s disappointing, more than anything. But it’s also something that’s understandable. Ignorance has always been in the world. The core of this country has always been built off slavery, people owning people. So ... you know, anytime you understand that’s the core principles of how this nation was built then you’ve got to have some kind of, you know, sympathy for it.”
Sherman added: “I’m sure if she were to come up trying to execute the actions that she said she would, I’m sure my family would have something to say about that.”
Sherman is as active on the internet and social media as any player in the league. He writes a weekly column on league affairs on The Players’ Tribune. His @RSherman_25 Twitter account has 1.73 million followers, and he responds individually to many of his detractors.
He initially responded to Carpenter’s wife’s castration tweet with five in-tears-laughing emojis and “Thank you! Have a great day”,
He said he’s used to what Carpenter’s wife sent his way.
“You get it from the social-media cowards all the time,” Sherman said. “Nobody’s ever said that to my face. Most people don’t live that kind of life. People are much more brave behind the screen — no consequence, no chance of any altercation or anything. When somebody has to actually say something to someone’s face and deal with the consequences, they’re a lot more reserved.”
That’s for sure.
As for the kick itself, Sherman said he continued to run at the kicker when he realized the officials weren’t blowing the play dead for him being offside and unabated to Carpenter, as rules say they should have. That was the issue with the officiating mess: They didn’t blow the whistle until Sherman was on top of the ball and kicker.
“There was no whistle,” Sherman said Wednesday, an assertion backed up by the television replay of the play with audio. “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.”
Sherman believes the officials were letting Carpenter kick the ball, and had he pulled up and the ball had gone through the uprights the field goal would have counted and his offside foul declined by Buffalo. When Sherman didn’t hear the whistle, he kept rushing and blocked the kick while running through Carpenter. That’s when, in Sherman’s mind, the officials decided to whistle the play dead.
“They didn’t vote the ball dead until he kicked it,” Sherman said, “so that is what it is.
“If I had just stopped, it would have been three points on the board.”
Referee Walt Anderson said Monday night after the game that CenturyLink Field’s noise may have contributed to the delay in getting the play killed more promptly.
“I know it was loud out there for everybody,” Anderson said. “That’s probably what took us a little bit of time to get everything shut down.”