Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman has been known for taking the media spotlight, holding the title as one of the NFL’s most vocal players with little to no contest. But during his press conference Wednesday afternoon, the outspoken player addressed concerns regarding his involvement with the Black Lives Matter movement, using his platform to express his concerns.
Last week, an unauthorized photo of him and teammate Marshawn Lynch was posted on the blog of Black Lives Matter activist King Noble’s with the caption “When we gon Kill These KKKrakas Bro.” Sherman wanted to use the wide reach of his press conference prior to Thursday night’s game between the Denver Broncos and the Kansas City Chiefs to address rumors that he did not author the post as some suspected.
“Before we get started, I’m gonna address the—because there was some article written … Talking about King Noble and all this,” Sherman said at the start of the conference. “I did not write that article. A lot of people had sent it to me over the weekend, but I thought this would be the best place to address it. There were some points in that article, or in that post, that were relevant and I could agree with. But there were also some obviously ignorant points in there.”
After dismissing the rumors surrounding the blog post and subsequent fall out, Sherman continued to share his thoughts on a variety of topics, including police behavior and violence in black communities. “From personal experience, you know, you have living in the hood, living in the inner city, you deal with things, you deal with people dying. Dealt with a best friend getting killed…it was two 35-year-old black men. Wasn’t no police officer involved, wasn’t anybody else involved, and I didn’t hear anybody shouting ‘black lives matter’ then.”
“We need to solidify ourselves as people and deal with our issues, because I think as long as we have black-on-black crime and, you know, one black man killing another…if black lives matter, then it should matter all the time. You should never let somebody get killed—that’s somebody’s son, that’s somebody’s brother, that’s somebody’s friend.”
Sherman continued to praise those who “who do everything in their power to uphold the badge and uphold the honor and protect the people in society.” That’s not to say that he doesn’t believe that there’s a few bad apples in the bunch, but Sherman also noted that things like body cameras and camera phones are bringing justice to the limelight, making it easier to hold cops accountable.
Opponents of Sherman’s comments claim his rhetoric is “tired, misguided, and ultimately harmful,” but many people praised his comments, including teammate Doug Baldwin, Jr.
Sherman’s words echo other black leaders who have spoken out against violence directed toward law enforcement. While a peaceful future is uncertain with racial tension rising daily, if any voice can make it happen, it’s the best corner in the game.