Monday night, the San Francisco 49ers defeated the Cleveland Browns 31-3 in a game where the Bay Area defense held quarterback Baker Mayfield in check and forced two interceptions. This was the second-year QB's worst performance of the season, and it was marked by the criticism lobbed his way following the game. Cornerback Richard Sherman even said that Mayfield snubbed him during the pre-game handshake.
"What's amazing, and annoying, was him not shaking hands at the beginning," Sherman said to NFL Media's Michael Silver. "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."
Interestingly enough, footage actually surfaced on Twitter Tuesday that showed Mayfield shaking hands with members of the 49ers, including Sherman. This sent the story in an entirely new direction.
Richard Sherman said that Baker Mayfield snubbed him during Monday's pregame handshake.October 8, 2019
Following this video going viral, there was a moment when Sherman addressed the situation, which has since been dubbed "HandshakeGate," once again. He replied to a post by former Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee by adding in another explanation.
"So you don’t see any difference in the way I shake everyone else’s hand and the guy who stands back with the petty shake," Sherman wrote. "Was Bs and I took offense to it then turns and runs off. It’s not that big of a deal."
As he further explained to reporter Albert Breer, Sherman's big issue with "HandshakeGate" is that Mayfield turned and ran off the field following the coin toss. He said that it "pissed us off" and led to the 49ers putting on this performance. He also said that everyone is making way too big of a story out of this.
"Ppl freaking out over a handshake gave me a good laugh. I will lose no sleep over it and have moved on to the next opponent," said Sherman on Twitter to finish off the afternoon. He says that he wants to put this in the rearview mirror, but this story has taken on a new life.
Granted, Sherman has actually agreed to appear on the Pat McAfee Show, which means that this handshake, or lack thereof, will continue to be discussed in the coming days.