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Sports

January 23, 2014

Seattle's Sherman surprised by public reaction

(Continued)

Sherman apologized for taking away the spotlight from the performances by some of his teammates. Marshawn Lynch’s 109 yards rushing and 40-yard touchdown, Jermaine Kearse’s 35-yard touchdown catch on fourth-down and Bobby Wagner’s 15 tackles all became secondary to Sherman’s words.

What seemed to bother Sherman the most in the fallout was hearing the word “thug” attached to his name.

“The only reason it bothers me is it seems like it’s an accepted way of calling someone the N-word nowadays. It’s like everybody else said the N-word and they said thug and they’re like, ‘that’s fine,’” Sherman said. “That’s where it kind of takes me aback. It’s kind of disappointing because they know. What is the definition of a thug, really?”

Sherman then referenced seeing highlights of the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames playing on Saturday when a fight broke out two seconds into the game.

“They didn’t even play hockey. They just threw their sticks aside and started fighting,” he said. “I saw that and said, ‘Oh, man, I’m the thug? What’s going on here. Geez.’ I’m really disappointed in being called a thug.”

While there’s been criticism for his rant, he’s also received support. Perhaps most surprising was a tweet from baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron. Not a huge user of social media — Aaron had sent seven tweets before Tuesday — his message to Sherman read, “hang in there & keep playing as well as you did Sunday. Excellent job - you have my support.”

Sherman was peppered with questions for more than 20 minutes Wednesday. Teammate Russell Wilson was also asked about the fallout. He said it hasn’t been a distraction as the Seahawks begin preparing for Denver.

Sherman also didn’t like hearing that some have labeled the team villainous.

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