Richard Sherman got the message loud and clear.
His actions last Sunday were not appreciated by numerous fans and media. Of course, the league was not amused, either.
So much so, Sherman issued an apology for his actions and words against Michael Crabtree through the other monolith on the American sporting scene in these modern times, ESPN.
Ask yourself if the tone of this statement reminds you of a Dave Chappelle skit where he imitates a button-down white dude:
"I apologize for attacking an individual and taking the attention away from the fantastic game by my teammates ... That was not my intent."
A Stanford grad's statement would have been much more polished. This was obviously an NFL public relations department production. "A fantastic game by my teammates"? Who talks like that? Forcing Sherman to apologize is one thing. Forcing him to read a script that sounds like it was prepared by a North Korean interrogator is quite another.
Maybe Sherman's outburst didn't fit the NFL's country club etiquette, but it was spontaneous and genuine. However, the oh-so-orchestrated NFL can't allow that if it goes off the grid. You just knew some sort of cheesy backtracking would be crammed down the cornerback's throat.
Even Stanford head coach David Shaw, who knew Sherman while he was an assistant, even said Sherman did this to himself.
"Personally, I love Richard, but I won't say that it's unfair. That [trash-talking image] is what he's chosen," Shaw said on ESPN's Mike and Mike.
"He's a great person, a great kid. He works extremely hard and studies the game. There's a side to him. You want, as some coaches call it, 'that dog.' You want that dog in your player out there.
"It's unfortunate that people will judge him based on that. It's up to Richard, with all these eyes on him now, to continue to show people the other side of him."
Sherman claims this all came about because Crabtree said something to him in the offseason which led to the incident Sunday. Apparently though, Sherman couldn't or didn't let it go
And it's obvious that the league and the team told him he'd better let it go if he doesn't want to pay a huge fine or get suspended the next time this takes place, because let's be frank, if you know Sherman's history, there will be a next time.