(CBS Seattle/1090 The Fan) — Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman approached the podium for his weekly press conference Wednesday, but was quick to announce that today was different.
Instead, a visibly-emotional Sherman announced that he would not be taking questions.
“You know, obviously we’re playing [San Francisco] and they’re a great opponent,” he said. “And they’ve got some weapons — Torrey Smith, Carlos Hyde — they’re running Chip Kelly’s offense, they’re doing a great job. They’ve been getting yards, moving the ball, scoring points.”
“But I’m not going to answer any questions today, and it’s no offense to you guys. But I think the state of things in the world today is very interesting. I think you have players that are trying to take a stand and trying to be aware of social issues and trying to make a stand and increase people’s awareness and put a spotlight on it. And they’re being ignored. Whether they’re taking a knee, or whether they’re locking arms. They’re trying to bring people together and unite them for a cause. And I think that, I think that the last couple days a couple more guys have gotten shot and killed in the middle of the street and more videos have come out of guys getting killed, and I think people are still missing the point. The reason these guys are kneeling and the reason we’re locking arms is to bring people together to make people aware that this is not right. It’s not right for people to get killed in the street.”
“I do a lot of community service,” Sherman added. “I go out there and try to help kids and try to encourage them to be better and to aspire to more. And when you tell a kid you know when you’re dealing with police just put your hands up and comply with everything, and there’s still a chance of him getting shot. And no repercussions for anyone. That’s an unfortunate time to be living. you know, that’s an unfortunate place to be in. There’s not a lot you can tell a kid. There’s not a lot you can say to inspire a person when you say “hey, we need Black fathers to be in the community, to stay there for your kids,” but they’re getting killed in the street for nothing. For putting their hands on their cars. And I think that’s the unfortunate part, that’s the unfortunate place that we’re living in. And something needs to be done.
“So, when a guy takes a knee, you can ignore it You can say he’s not being patriotic, he’s not honoring the flag. I’m doing none of of those things. I’m saying it straight up: This is wrong, and we need to do something.
So thank you guys, and have a blessed day.”
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has been at the forefront of a protest against police violence and discrimination toward people of color in his decision to take a knee during the National Anthem at the beginning of every NFL game. In the last two weeks alone, at least three cases of police shootings have made headlines. A 40-year-old unarmed African-American man, Terance Crutcher, was shot and killed by a police officer in Tulsa, Oklahoma Friday night after calling for roadside assistance. Keith Lamont Scott, a father of seven who is also Black, was shot and killed Tuesday in an apartment parking lot by Charlotte police, who were searching for a separate man.
Last week 13-year-old Tyre King, also Black, died after being shot three times by a Columbus, Ohio police officer. Five-foot-tall King, who was carrying a toy BB gun, was fired upon as he was running from an officer.
A number of other NFL players have joined Kaepernick, by either kneeling or raising a first, including LA Rams defensive end Robert Quinn, Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane, Denver Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall, Miami Dolphins players Arian Foster, Jelani Jenkins, Michael Thomas, and Kenny Stills, and more. The entire Seahawks squad has chosen to link arms on the sidelines during the anthem as their show of unity.
Still, players have received a wave of criticism and, at least in the case of Kaepernick, reported death threats.
Here’s the video of Sherman speaking, courtesy of The Oregonian.