KNBR radio host Tim Ryan was suspended for saying Jackson was great at faking handoffs because of “his dark skin with a dark football.”
“He’s really good at that fake, Lamar Jackson, but when you consider his dark skin with a dark football with a dark uniform, you could not see that thing,” Ryan said on air, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. “I mean you literally could not see when he was in and out of the mesh point, and if you’re a half step slow on him in terms of your vision, forget about it, he’s out of the gate.”
Sherman, one of the most outspoken players of the league, said Thursday he wasn’t as mad as everyone else was and that the analyst had “valid” points but could have chosen his words differently.
“I know Tim personally, and I listened to the dialogue and saw it written, and honestly I wasn’t as outraged as everybody else,” Sherman told reporters. “I understand how it can be taken under a certain context and be offensive to some. But if you're saying, this is a brown ball, they're wearing dark colors and he has a brown arm, honestly, sometimes we were having trouble seeing it on film.
“He's making a play fake, and sometimes he's swinging his arm real fast, and you're like, Ok, does he have the ball? And you look up and [Mark] Ingram is running it. So it was technically a valid point, but you can always phrase things better. You can always phrase things and not say ‘his black skin.’”
Sherman added he didn’t think anyone in the 49ers locker room took offense to the statement. Defense lineman Dee Ford said he called Ryan to tell him he has his back.
“He walked up to me earlier, and before he even said anything, I told him ‘I’ve got your back,’” Ford said. “I already knew the story — words kinda got taken out of context. Of course — I think he knows now he could have used better judgment with his words.”
Sherman and Ford both vouched for Ryan’s character.
Ravens running back Mark Ingram used a clown emoji to describe Ryan on Twitter.
Ryan apologized for his choice of words in a statement.
“I regret my choice of words in trying to describe the conditions of the game. Lamar Jackson is an MVP-caliber player and I respect him greatly. I want to sincerely apologize to him and anyone else I offended.”
Ryan will not work San Francisco’s game on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints.
Fox News' Morgan Phillips contributed to this report.