Shafei on hater of Ahmad

As it was reported by Rabia ibn Sulaiman, ash-Shafei said: “Whoever would hate Ahmad ibn Hanbal – is kaafir”. I said: “You use for him name – kaafir?” He said: “Yes. Whoever hates Ahmad ibn Hanbal he insist (in rejection of) sunnah. And whoever insist (in rejection of) sunnah he wanted to (disgrace) companions, and whoever wanted to (disgrace) companions – hates Messenger, and whoever hates Messenger is kaafir in Allah al-Azim”.
“Tabaqatul Hanabila” intro, p 18.