JERSEY CITY - Richard Sherman wouldn't change a thing about the last seven days.
He wouldn't change his spirited postgame rant against 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree after the NFC Championship Game a week ago yesterday. Nor would he delete a single one of the tweets and messages that he received from fans and media types, even the most negative and hurtful.
A week before the biggest game of the NFL season, Sherman made it clear that he believes that some things are bigger than football. He believes his rant and reaction helped open up a dialogue about race.
"I do think I have had some effect on opening the channels of communication, conversation and dialogue," the Seahawks cornerback said Sunday night at a news conference at the NFC hotel. "I want everyone to understand that people should be judged by their character and who they are as a person, not by the color of their skin. That's something we've worked on to get past as a nation and a country, and we'll continue to work on it. It's healthy.
"All the people who sent messages and tweeted what they tweeted, it ends up turning around to be a positive because it opens back up the discussion."
During the past week, Sherman has become a household name as videos of his rant went viral on YouTube. Sherman has proved to be a player who loves a big stage, and there is none bigger than the one he will step on this week with the Super Bowl being played in the country's media capital for the first time.
On Sunday, at his first news appearance here, about 100 reporters jostled for position around Sherman's podium at any given time, making it perhaps the first time in NFL history that a defensive back has drawn more attention than a starting quarterback.
In the past seven days, Sherman has appeared on national television and his agent has said that interest in the cornerback for endorsement purposes has exploded. CNNMoney has estimated that he is poised to make more than $5 million in endorsements because of the 15-second rant.
Sherman, who had a 4.2 grade-point average in high school and attended Stanford, said his biggest hope is that his trip to the Super Bowl will inspire young kids.
"This is the culmination of everything I've worked for," he said. "They can understand that you can come from humble beginnings and get out of the inner city. It's not a dream. It's not a far-fetched thing. It's right there in front of them."