by Chuck CarrollBy Chuck Carroll

Poll: What did you think about Richard Sherman’s comments?

LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) — Public backlash over spirited comments given by Richard Sherman to Fox sideline reporter Erin Andrews on Sunday will not alter the National Football League’s policy regarding media access to players immediately following a game.

The outspoken Seattle Seahawks cornerback sparked a hotbed of controversy for the lively remarks he directed toward San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree just moments after the final whistle sounded in the NFC Championship game.

Sherman deflected Colin Kaepernick’s pass intended for Crabtree and Malcolm Smith hauled it in to seal the Seahawks victory with 22 seconds remaining in the game. Sherman was flagged for a largely meaningless unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for running up to Crabtree, taunting him and then patting him on the rear end.

Sherman’s response to Andrews’ question about the game-clinching play will live in infamy, but did not violate any league policy.

“I’m the best corner in the game. When you try me with a sorry receiver like Crabtree, that’s the result you’re going to get! Don’t you ever talk about me!” Sherman boasted. “Don’t you open your mouth about the best! Or I’m ma shut it for you real quick!”

There is an NFL-mandated 10-minute cooling off period for players and coaches before the media is allowed inside the locker room following a game. The same policy does not apply to players and coaches as they are coming off the field.

After Sherman’s interview, some critics questioned whether the cooling off period should be extended to cover players and coaches as they exit the field.

“We do not restrict players or coaches from being interviewed as they are coming off the field,” NFL spokesperson Greg Aiello said. “It’s up to them. We try to be as media/fan friendly as possible. Richard Sherman did not violate any league policy in his post-game interview.”

The only question now is whether the incident will prove to be a distraction leading up to the Super Bowl.

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