It looks like we’ve got a good, old-fashioned #HandshakeGate.
One video clearly shows Mayfield embracing multiple 49ers captains, including tight end George Kittle. And while this specific video doesn’t conclusively reveal a handshake between Sherman and Mayfield (it also doesn’t show the kind of behavior that such an affront possibly would spark), it shows Mayfield shaking DeForest Buckner‘s hand and not snubbing him in any way.
But the article from Mike Silver of NFL.com clearly implies that Mayfield also snubbed Buckner. Mayfield, based on the video, clearly didn’t. Likewise, Silver’s article downplays the interaction between Mayfield and 49ers tight end George Kittle as a “quick handslap.” Based on the video, it was more than that.
Another angle of the interaction prior to the coin flip, which is one grassy knoll short of qualifying for the Zapruder collection, shows a handshake between Mayfield and Sherman.
Sherman has doubled down, insisting on Twitter that Mayfield did not shake Sherman’s hand. But the smoking gun comes from yet another video, displayed on the giant video screen at Levi’s Stadium.
Yes, it’s all silly. But it’s also strange to think that Sherman made such a big deal about something that didn’t happen.
His message is accurate. Professional football players shouldn’t act like Clubber Lang staring down Rocky Balboa. The past decade has shown that they belong to a broader brotherhood that transcends colors and logos, and that takes into account the shared financial and health interests that apply to every NFL player.
But it’s odd for a rant like this to be based on a snub that wasn’t. Mayfield snubbed no one from the 49ers before the game started.