In what has become a ritual of Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman’s weekly press conferences, he playfully grabs a recorder from a local reporter and places it in front of a speaker.
But Wednesday, instead of the joking word or two he usually speaks into the mic while doing so, he said simply “this is going to be short and sweet.”
And then Sherman used that platform to make his own statement on some of the social issues facing this country – specifically, the recent spate of police shootings of African-Americans.
Sherman took no questions, instead speaking for roughly two minutes, saying that he feels more needs to be done because the message isn’t getting through.
Here is all of Sherman’s roughly two-minute statement:
“So today, obviously we’re playing San Fran and they’re a great opponent. They’ve got some weapons: Torrey Smith, Carlos Hyde. They’re running Chip Kelly’s offense. They do 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 issue and try 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. I think the last couple days a couple more guys have gotten shot and killed in the middle of the street. More videos have come out of guys getting killed, and I think people are still missing the point. The reason these guys are kneeling, 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. 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, ‘When you’re dealing with police, just put your hands up and comply with everything,’ and there’s still a chance of them getting shot and no repercussions for anyone, that’s an unfortunate time to be living. 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 try to inspire, 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.
“And 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 those things. I’m saying it straight up. This is wrong and we need to do something. So thank you guys, have a blessed day.“
Sherman then walked off the stage declining to take any other questions.
Sherman’s statement comes in a week when the Seahawks host the San Francisco 49ers, whose backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick was the first to begin protesting during the anthem, initially sitting during a preseason game and then kneeling along with teammate Eric Reid, a safety.
Seattle cornerback Jeremy Lane also sat during the anthem before the team’s final preseason game at Oakland, while the Seahawks then decided on a group action of linking arms during the anthem for the first two regular-season games. Lane joined in that action.
Lane said he wanted to show solidarity with Kaepernick and other Seahawks have also said they support Kaepernick’s actions.
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