Richard Sherman: Baker Mayfield ‘deserves an apology’ after handshake flap

San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman said he plans to apologize to Baker Mayfield after suggesting the Cleveland Browns quarterback snubbed him during the pregame coin toss Monday night.
(Ben Margot / Associated Press)

San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman said Wednesday he still feels Baker Mayfield “disrespected” him Monday night but does plan to apologize to the Cleveland Browns quarterback for suggesting that Mayfield refused to shake hands during the coin toss prior to the teams’ game.

“He definitely deserves an apology,” Sherman said during a phone interview on “The Pat McAfee Show.”

Sherman made his initial comments to’s Mike Silver following the 49ers’ 31-3 win over the Browns.


“What’s amazing, and annoying, was him not shaking hands at the beginning,” Sherman said of Mayfield in an article that was published early Tuesday morning. “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.”

But as the morning went on, video surfaced that appeared to show Sherman and Mayfield making contact with their hands before the coin toss.

Sherman explained to McAfee what happened.

“When we walked up for captains, I walk up, I shake up, give a pat on the back to just about everybody, it’s kind of how I do it and how I see it,” Sherman said. “And as I’m walking up to [Mayfield], I mean he’s the next person in line, he’s kind of just standing back with his hands down. ...

“He doesn’t take a step, he doesn’t look to move up. So I put my hand out, just out of courtesy, and he gives me a petty little slap on the hand. And I took it as disrespect because the way he was standing back, he wasn’t walking up and approaching like everybody else. ...

“Once we got done with [the coin toss], they called it, he just turns and runs off, I say, ‘OK, OK, that’s the kind of day it’s going to be.’”

Of his comments to Silver, Sherman said: “I may have phrased it differently, but I meant what I said. I did feel the disrespect. ... I felt disrepect and at the end of the day that’s all the story was, really.”


Mayfield made light of the situation Wednesday while addressing the matter publicly for the first time.

“That’s the one time the camera recording me has gone in my favor,” Mayfield told reporters.

Sherman said he’s sorry Mayfield has to deal with this issue.

“I never want anybody to deal with some ... stuff that they didn’t do,” he said. “And so, you know, the questions that he’s gonna get and the annoying, nonsense questions about some stuff that happened in a game that’s already been done, you know, sure he’ll get an apology for that. I’ll probably reach out to him via text or social media to actually get ahold of him and talk to him.”