Richard Sherman explains why he owes Baker Mayfield an apology for starting silly handshake controversySporting News — (Tadd Haislop)
Yes, technically 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman started what Pat McAfee is calling #DapGate, the dumbest NFL controversy in recent memory, when he told NFL.com's Michael Silver that Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield disrespected him with a weak handshake before San Francisco's drubbing of Cleveland on Monday.
But Sherman was not asking for a national talking point. And even though he considered Mayfield's actions disrespectful, Sherman admitted Wednesday that the Browns passer deserves a bit of an apology, because Mayfield wasn't asking for controversy, either.
"It's definitely my bad," Sherman told McAfee, who hosts "The Pat McAfee Show" on DAZN daily from 10 a.m.-noon ET. "I never want anybody to have to deal with some s— that they didn't do. The questions that he's gonna get, the annoying nonsense questions about some stuff that happened in a game that's already been done, sure he'll get an apology for that. I'll probably reach out to him via text or social media to actually get a hold of him and talk to him."
When asked about the genesis of this absurdity, Sherman confirmed his handshake comment was part of a larger conversation with Silver about Mayfield. He said they were "talking in general about (Mayfield) and how he's approached the league and some of the things he's done," and Silver asked about Sherman's interactions with Mayfield during the game.
Sherman also doubled down on his clarification regarding why he was so upset with Mayfield.
"When we walked up for captains, I walk up, shake up, give a pat on the back to just about everybody. It's kind of how I do it," Sherman explained. "As I'm walking up to him, I mean he's the next person in line, he's kind of just standing back with his hands down. ... He doesn't take a step, he doesn't look to move up, so I put my hand up, you know, just out of courtesy, and he gives me the petty little slap on the hand.
"I took it as disrespect because the way he was standing back, like he wasn't walking up and approaching like everybody else. I was like, 'OK.' And I already felt some type of way at the beginning, so it kind of reinforced what I felt. So once we got done with that, he just turns and runs off, and I say, 'Oh, OK, OK, that's the kind of day it's gonna be.'"
Let's hope Sherman's apology and explanation on McAfee's show Wednesday ends such a silly controversy. Of course, it probably won't due in part to a point McAfee raised with Sherman on the show.
"Everything you do is going to get talked about," McAfee said to Sherman. "That has started ever since you were in Seattle. You are an incredibly intelligent man who's a very good football player. Everything you do and say is gonna get talked about. Do you agree?"
"I would agree," Sherman said.
McAfee then claimed Mayfield also is a guy who will be discussed no matter what he says or does and asked whether Sherman agrees.
"I wouldn't agree as much," Sherman said, "but (yes)."