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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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The latest on the Ebola crisis. Plus, reporter Matt Bai on scandal that changed political journalism.

The latest on the Ebola crisis. Plus, reporter Matt Bai on scandal that changed political journalism.

January 20th, 2014
06:28 PM ET

Columnist to America: Loud, screaming black men are not by default thugs

(CNN) - Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman put on quite a show both during and after his team's NFC championship victory over the San Francisco 49ers.

"I'm the best corner in the game!" Sherman yelled. "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."

Reporter Erin Andrews, who was visibly stunned, asked Sherman whom he was talking about.

"Crabtree! Don't you open your mouth about the best," Sherman yelled. "Or I'm gonna shut it for you real quick"

Sherman is no stranger to trash talk and Kanye-West-esque levels of self praise, but that particular rant was almost instantly hailed as epic in social media, for better or worse.

In a later, much calmer news conference, Sherman tried to clear up the emotion behind his scream-fest, and offered up an apology to reporter Andrews.

"Erin, wherever you are, I'm sorry. Apparently she thought I was talking to her, I was talking about Crabtree," said Sherman. "I was making sure that everybody knew that Crabtree was a mediocre receiver. Mediocre."

Reaction to Sherman seems split between two camps – those who find him brash and classless, and those who think he's bringing a much-needed level of passion and bravado to the game. Though he is not the first sports figure to let his post game emotions get the best of him. Former coaches Mike Ditka, Mike Gundy, and Dennis Green have all had their fair share of yelling rants.

There was a lot of racist hatred directed at Sherman, who is African American and has long dread locks.

"Let me explain this. America: loud, screaming black men are not by default dangerous, or thugs," said Clinton Yates, columnist for The Washington Post.

"You're not a thug just because you have dreadlocks, or just because you were loud and there was somebody was standing there who doesn't know what is going to happen next," said Yates.

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