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Richard Sherman: 'Don't judge a book by its cover'

Richard Sherman: 'Don't judge a book by its cover'
Seattle Seahawks' Richard Sherman speaks at an NFL football news conference Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, in Renton, Wash. The Seahawks play the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl on Feb. 2. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
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"When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree, that's what you're going to get," Richard Sherman screamed into the FOX Sports microphone after Sunday's NFC Championship.

It's only part of the 18-second interview everyone is talking about, and it's the 18 seconds many are using to judge the Seahawks outspoken cornerback.

"If I would have known it was going to blow up like that, I would have approached it differently," Sherman said, speaking to the media for the first time since Sunday. "We're talking about football here, but a lot of people took it further than football."

The insults aimed at Sherman immediately started to flow in, especially on social media. People were calling Sherman a thug and much, much worse.

"I know some 'thugs' and they know I'm the furthest thing from a thug," said Sherman. "I fought that my whole life just coming from where I come from."

Sherman grew up in Compton, but he rose above his tough surroundings. He graduated second in his high school class with a 4.2 GPA and received a scholarship to Stanford.

"You hear Compton. You hear Watts. You hear cities like that and you just think, 'Thug. He's a gangster. He's this that and the other,'" Sherman said. "Then people hear Stanford and they think, 'That doesn't even make sense. It's an oxymoron.' You fight it for so long. To have it come back up and people start to use it again, it's really frustrating."

Now, many people are pegging the Seahawks as the villains in Super Bowl XLVIII, but Sherman doesn't think it should be that way.

"People always say don't judge a book by its cover, but they're judging a book by its cover," said Sherman. "If I got arrested ten times, or committed all these crimes, or got suspended for fighting off the field, then I can accept being a villain. I've done nothing villainous."

Sherman said his only regret is that the postgame interview took away from his teammate's accomplishments in the NFC Championship. In the end, he says he's not going to change; this is just who he is.

"I don't know how to be anyone else," said Sherman. "I can only be myself."

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