Richard Sherman has a message for everyone in Seattle, especially the ones who turned on him when he signed a contract with the San Francisco 49ers.
“Seattle is still where my kids will go to school,’’ Richard wrote on the Players’ Tribune website. “It's where I met Ashley [his fiancée]. It's where her parents live. It’s where we own a home that we don’t plan on selling. And I will continue to work with kids in the surrounding communities the way I always have.”
I placed that statement on Twitter Tuesday to make sure people realize how Sherman feels. It has garnered more than 47,000 total engagement in less than 24 hours, which says a lot about how much Sherman means to so many fans in this city.
A few of those fans have taken to social media to publicly berate the man they once beloved. And Sherman just can’t understand the haters, considering everything he did as a Pro Bowl cornerback for the Seahawks, helping lead the team to back-to-back Super Bowls.
“This whole process has definitely made me more aware of the hate and hypocrisy out there,’’ Sherman wrote. “Fans calling me a traitor and burning my jersey know if they got fired and a competitor offered them more money, they'd take it in a heartbeat.”
Sherman wanted to clarify a few points that he felt have been misconstrued. So he wrote the story titled, How It All Went Down.
“The Seahawks didn't ask me to take a pay cut,’’ Sherman wrote. “There was no negotiation. They informed me they intended to release me. I didn’t choose to leave Seattle. The Seahawks chose to let me go.”
And the Seahawks also chose to let their division rivals have him. Sherman said Seahawks general manager John Schneider asked Sherman to give the team the chance to match any offer he received.
After he received the offer from the 49ers (a heavily incentive-based, 3-year-deal with $3 million signing bonus) Sherman did exactly what Schneider asked of him. He called, but Schneider declined to match the offer.
So Sherman’s time as a Seahawks star came to an end. And as one might expect, he’s a little bitter about it.
“I hope they look back and understand I gave everything I had to that franchise,’’ Sherman wrote. “I played through an elbow injury, a wrist injury, an MCL, and more sprains and strains than I can even count. … And before I tore [the Achilles], I had been dealing with it for a while. I knew it was gonna go at some point, but I kept on playing because the other guys in the locker room were counting on me.
“Seven years and I didn’t miss a game until my Achilles finally went. And this is what I get. At the first sign of adversity … they let me go.”
It hurts even though Sherman said he understand it’s a business.
This isn’t a criticism of the Seahawks. They felt the $11 million Sherman would earn in 2018 was more than they could afford to pay with all the other needs the team has to address.
Teams and players move on. Just part of the game, but Sherman doesn’t deserve criticism, either.
It’s OK to hate that he’s a 49er now. It’s not OK to hate the man who gave his heart and soul to the team he was forced to leave.