San Francisco 49ers defensive back Richard Sherman says that Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield snubbed him during Monday’s pregame handshake, but video obtained by ESPN appears to show something different.
Video of 49ers and Browns players meeting at midfield for the coin toss shows Sherman walking down the line of Cleveland players, exchanging words and handshakes. When he gets to Mayfield he appears to have some kind of physical interaction with the quarterback, but the angle of the video makes it unclear if it’s a handshake. Sherman also says a few words to Mayfield.
“What’s amazing, and annoying, was him not shaking hands at the beginning,” Sherman said Monday night, according to NFL.com. “That’s some college s—. It’s ridiculous. We’re all trying to get psyched up, but shaking hands with your opponent — that’s NFL etiquette. And when you pull bush league stuff, that’s disrespectful to the game. And believe me, that’s gonna get us fired up.”
After the game, Sherman was adamant that Mayfield had crossed a line by not shaking.
“Respect the game,” Sherman said, according to NFL.com. “You can have rivals, but pay your respect in that moment — especially when you’re young.
“He hasn’t earned anything in this league. How many games has he won? He’s acting like he was the MVP last year. If [Patrick] Mahomes did that, it would be one thing. But he would never do that, because he has too much respect for the game.
“And when you see a guy who doesn’t? You humble him every chance you get. Because eventually, he will have respect for the league — or he’ll be out of it.”
When fans on social media questioned Sherman’s assertion that Mayfield didn’t shake his hand, the Pro-Bowler doubled down in a number of responses on Twitter.
Yea that looks like him reaching out for a handshake as I’m standing right in front of him. But hey your a Browns fan how can I expect anything logical to make sense pic.twitter.com/DUOVOTxXSE
Hahahahaha a Browns fan thinking I have to make up a story lmao. Hahaha hope your time as a browns fan has been as enjoyable as I think it has.
He didn’t shake my hand.
The Browns had no comment on the situation Tuesday.
The brash Mayfield was the focus of Niners’ ire all night.
Defensive end Nick Bosa harassed the QB into an intentional grounding call and then pretended to plant a flag — mocking Mayfield’s planting an Oklahoma flag at Ohio Stadium in a 2017 game against Bosa’s Buckeyes.
“I think everybody knows what that was for,” Bosa said. “I just wanted to get payback. He had it coming.”
Sherman intercepted Mayfield on the Browns’ second possession on the way to the 49ers’ 31-3 blowout,
This isn’t the first time Mayfield has been involved in a handshake controversy. Before a 2017 Oklahoma-Kansas game, Jayhawks captains refused to shake Mayfield’s hand during the coin toss.
During the third quarter of Oklahoma’s blowout win in Lawrence, Mayfield grabbed his crotch and appeared to yell “F— you!” at the Kansas sideline. As punishment, he did not start or serve as captain for the Sooners’ next game on Oklahoma’s senior day. Kansas also stripped its three players involved of their captaincy for its final game of the season.